SINGAPORE — Here is a round-up of sports events and developments in Singapore in the past week (16 to 22 August):
Song Ui-young granted Singapore citizenship
South Korea-born footballer Song Ui-young has been granted Singapore citizenship, after playing in the Singapore Premier League since 2012. The 27-year-old midfielder is the first football to become a naturalised Singaporean since China-born forward Qiu Li about 10 years ago.
Song arrived in Singapore as an 18-year-old in 2012 to play for Home United (now Lion City Sailors) in the Prime League. He was eventually promoted to the senior squad, and has played 211 matches and scored 62 times for his only Singapore club.
"Throughout this time, he has continuously displayed an esteemed character of respect, commitment to excellence, and passion for the local game," Football Association of Singapore (FAS) general secretary Yazeen Buhari said in a Facebook post on Saturday (21 August).
"It has been a long process but the FAS is pleased to have supported him in each step of his journey to be a citizen of our country."
Song also put up a post on his Facebook page on Saturday, saying, "I came to Singapore looking to join Home United, but instead found a home.
"This is the biggest milestone of my life, and my personal pledge to Singapore is that I will humbly give my best to be an asset to our country."
Albirex, Sailors keep pace with each other atop SPL
Singapore Premier League (SPL) leaders Albirex Niigata (Singapore) maintained their three-point advantage over Lion City Sailors, after a 1-0 win over bottom side Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday (22 August). A third-minute penalty taken by Ryosuke Nagasawa settled the tie.
The Sailors had overtaken Albirex with a better goal difference earlier in the week after a 2-1 win over Tanjong Pagar United on Friday. Goals from Haiqal Pashia (43rd) and Jorge Felipe (55th) sealed the victory despite the Jaguars pulling a goal back through Luiz Junior (77th), as the Sailors kept pace with Albirex atop the league table with a game in hand.
In other SPL matches, struggling Balestier Khalsa - who sacked goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam last week after he refused to play in their previous league match against Young Lions - registered a surprise 5-2 win over Tampines Rovers at Toa Payoh Stadium on Thursday.
A hat-trick from striker Sime Zuzul, together with a goal each from Kristian Krajcek and Shuhei Hoshino, gave Balestier the thumping win. Tampines replied with a brace from Zehrudin Mehmedovic.
Third-placed Hougang United also picked up a 2-1 win over Geylang International at Hougang Stadium on Friday, with goals from Shawal Anuar and Hafiz Abu Sujad. Geylang replied with a penalty from Amy Recha.
Great Eastern Women's Run returns in November in virtual-run format
The Great Eastern Women's Run will return this year in a virtual-run format, following the cancellation of last year's race due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants will be clocking their miles via a mobile app from 14 November to 15 December across five different race categories, including a special 113km category to commemorate Great Eastern’s 113th anniversary this year.
Other categories will include the usual 5km, 10km and 21.1km distances, as well as the popular 2km category specially for mothers and daughters (5 to 12 years old). For the special 113km category, participants can choose to form a team of two to four ladies to complete the distance collectively or clock it individually within the time period.
To prepare participants for their run, the race organiser will be conducting a series of monthly virtual challenges to encourage ladies to increase their mileage and improve their pace. From next month onwards, participants can also expect tips from athletes, running coaches, physiotherapists and nutritionists on this journey on Facebook and Instagram.
This year, the Great Eastern Women's Run will be adopting two charity organisations – Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) and Daughters Of Tomorrow (DOT). Great Eastern pledges to use the race to raise awareness and funds towards supporting underprivileged women in their back-to-work journeys. The public can support these causes via the Great Eastern Cares fundraising pages.
Registrations for the run can be done on the official website.
Yellow Ribbon Prison Run returns with virtual edition in September
The Yellow Ribbon Prison Run will return this September with its first virtual edition. Themed "Challenge YRself and Inspire Second Chances", the even encourages participants to challenge their physical and mental boundaries to show their support for the reintegration of inmates and ex-offenders into society.
The public can participate in two categories — YR Inspire or YR Challenge — and run, walk or hike routes of their choice in the shape of a yellow ribbon as a pledge of support for second chances. The YR Inspire category does not have a minimum distance requirement, while the YR Challenge category will require participants to complete 60km in up to five separate runs within the race period of 1 to 30 September.
All finishers will be presented with an exclusive medal specially crocheted by inmates. Participants are also encouraged to submit screenshots of each completed route, with participating corporates matching every yellow ribbon formed by participants with a $10 donation. The target is to raise $100,000 for the Yellow Ribbon Fund.
Registration for the run opens until 24 September.
The Karting Arena opens second track in Jurong
Singapore karting company The Karting Arena has opened its second track in Jurong, a 153,000-sq ft facility which includes a 700-metre-long track that can accommodate up to 30 go-karts at any one time.
Following its first track in Bukit Timah, the new facility at the Arena Country Club along Upper Jurong Road is designed to host professional race events, with a race-control room, track cameras and a viewing gallery.
Besides the new track design, a new fleet of petroleum-powered go-karts will be available to ensure all karters will get to compete to the best of their ability. Be it slick and speedy or slow and steady, karters can choose their racing experience with speeds of up to 30km/h or 50km/h with a valid drivers’ license.
Karting rates start from $25 per session for novice (minimum nine years old and 1.40m tall) and $35 per session for adults. Bookings can be made online.
ONE Championship to air first-ever all-women's fight event on 3 Sept
Singapore-based mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship will broadcast its first-ever all-women's fight event "ONE: Empower" on 3 September.
In the main event, reigning ONE women’s strawweight world champion Xiong Jingnan defends her title against No.2-ranked contender Michelle Nicolini.
All four quarter-final matchups for the ONE women’s atomweight world grand prix will take place in ONE: Empower. Top-ranked Denice Zamboanga of the Philippines faces Seo Hee Ham of South Korea; second-ranked Meng Bo of China takes on India's Ritu Phogat; third-ranked Alyona Rassohyna of the Ukraine will battle Thailand's Stamp Fairtex; and undefeated judoka Itsuki Hirata of Japan will fight newcomer Alyse Anderson of the United States.
In other bouts, kickboxing star Anissa Meksen will make her debut against Cristina Morales; Filipino-American Jackie Buntan faces Daniela Lopez; Mei Yamaguchi of Japan goes up against Julie Mezabarba of Brazil; and American Grace Cleveland will battle the winner of Bi Nguyen vs Jenelyn Olsim.
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