The Flag Bearers

The flag bearers of Singapore Sports

Christmas is a time for sharing, a time for people to come together and celebrate everyone’s achievements. And this year on the sports front, there’s certainly a cause for celebration, with Singapore’s athletes capping off a fairly successful year on many fronts. In the season of sharing, UrbanWirehas managed to get a hold of 2 […]

Christmas is a time for sharing, a time for people to come together and celebrate everyone’s achievements. And this year on the sports front, there’s certainly a cause for celebration, with Singapore’s athletes capping off a fairly successful year on many fronts.

In the season of sharing, UrbanWirehas managed to get a hold of 2 such athletes who’ve put our tiny island on the world sporting map, shuttler Kendrick Lee, 23, and bowler Jazreel Tan, 18.

Having won the Dutch Open earlier in the year, Kendrick ended 2007 with a bang winning the silver medal in the Men’s Individuals competition at the 24th SEA Games in Thailand. The World No. 24 certainly showed his mettle, overcoming some of the world’s best players en route the finals such as World No. 6, Sony Dwi Kuncoro, and home favourite World No.10 , Boonsak Ponsana. However, his fairytale progress was checked in the finals where he succumbed to the reigning Olympic champion, Taufik Hidayat.

Jazreel on the other hand may not have been amongst the medals in Thailand but she definitely has a dazzling future ahead of her. Much is expected of her given that at the tender age of 18, she’s already achieved numerous accolades such as winning the Singapore National Bowling Championships twice and becoming the first Singaporean to earn an individual silver medal at the World Women Bowling Championships which was held this year in Monterrey, Mexico.

This Christmas, UrbanWire finds out what their Christmas wishes are and how their respective disciplines have affected them.

“I will definitely wish for a better year ahead and most importantly qualify for my maiden Olympic Games.”

UW: How and who will you be spending this Christmas with?

“My family and girlfriend. Although I have not been home most of the year due to training and tournaments, they have been supporting me whole-heartedly. Hence, I should spend time with them on a very special occasion.”

UW: At the SEA Games you fought like a Lion, overcoming the odds to make it to the finals, could you tell us how it feels to earn a silver medal?

“Being in the finals has given me the motivation and confidence to train harder and hopefully do Singapore proud in the near future. However, I owe this breakthrough to my family, girlfriend, teammates, coaches, Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) and people who’ve helped me and motivated me in one way or another. I would not have done it without them”

UW: You’re pinned as the great hope of Singaporean badminton after Ronald Susilo, how do you feel about taking on that mantle?

“I feel that everybody has a part to play in doing Singapore proud. Regardless whether it is Ronald, myself or the younger players, we are all representing the nation as one.”

UW: What’s the next competition that you’re looking forward to?

It definitely has to be Singapore Open because it will be competed in front of our home fans and it is part of the Super Series.

Jazreel

“My Christmas wish is to pass my diploma so that I can pursue a degree.”

UW: The Women’s team didn’t fare as well this time round at the SEA Games, what hopes do you have for future SEA Games?

“We will train even harder for the future and hopefully, do well and bring medals back for Singapore.”

UW: Bowling is actually a rather expensive sport, who got you into the game?

“My parents and my brother, it’s expensive but I’m lucky to have Brunswick as a sponsor who provides me with equipments.”

UW: What is the greatest bowling related gift that you’ve received thus far?

“To be able to meet and be friends with bowlers from all over the world!”

UW: What’s the most important lesson or values that young bowlers must have in order to succeed?

“Patience is the key. There will be lots of ups and downs in your sporting career. It’s important to stick through the rough times, learn from the mistakes, and come through the experience stronger. Also never give up on your dreams!”


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