SINGAPORE: Singapore is expected to send 330 athletes to the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vietnam this year, with former taekwondo athlete S Sinnathurai serving as chief de mission.
The 31st SEA Games will take place in Hanoi from May 12 to 23, with 526 events contested across 40 sports. It was originally scheduled for 2021 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) selection committee met on Wednesday (Feb 16) to consider the nominations put forward by the national sports associations, it said in a news release.
“At a meeting chaired by the SNOC President, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, the committee decided on the athletes who will represent Singapore at the Games,” it said.
“Athletes who have yet to meet the qualifying criteria have until early March to meet the selection criteria for the appeals committee to consider.”
Former taekwondo athlete and SEA Games champion S Sinnathurai, 50, will lead the team as chef de mission, assisted by former national sprinter Asmah Hanim, 37, and former national shooter Damien Ler, 42.
“Both Asmah and Damien have served as team managers at major Games and worked in high performance sport administration roles at national sports associations,” SNOC said, adding that this is the first time all three are serving in a chef de mission role.
Mr Sinnathurai said: “I hope the SEA Games-bound athletes will enjoy a fruitful and meaningful experience in Hanoi and take this opportunity to put their best forward as commendable ambassadors for the nation."
Ms Asmah, who served as the athletics team manager at the 2014 Asian Games and Youth Olympics, said she hopes her experience as a coach, athlete and educator can “help to bring value to the team and contribute to a positive SEA Games campaign in Hanoi”.
Singapore’s largest away contingent competed at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, consisting of 659 athletes across 48 sports. Its best medal haul came in 2015, when it hosted the SEA Games; the team bagged 84 gold, 73 silver and 102 bronze medals.
Its best away SEA Games haul was at the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur, where the team won 58 gold, 59 silver and 71 bronze medals.