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Special Olympics: Medals galore for Singapore on third day of competition

Special Olympics: Medals galore for Singapore on third day of competition

Rusydi Abdullah poses with his silver medal. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

ABU DHABI: Team Singapore claimed one gold, two silvers and three bronze medals on day three of competition at the Special Olympics World Games on Sunday (Mar 17).

A gold in athletics - the Republic's second in the sport, along with medals in bocce, bowling and swimming bolstered an overall medal tally which previously stood at one gold and one bronze.

The Republic had won its first gold of the Special Olympics on Saturday, courtesy of 15-year-old sprinter Nurshalini Shanef's triumph in the 200m F2 division.

The Special Olympic World Games, from Mar 14-21, is a meet for athletes with intellectual disabilities, and this year marks Singapore’s tenth occasion participating.

Athletes compete in different divisions based on factors such as their age, gender as well as level of ability. 

Team Singapore has sent a contingent of 30 athletes.

In athletics, 16-year-old Maveric Lee clocked a personal best timing of 27.87 secs in the 200m M8 division to clinch gold at the Dubai Police Club stadium.

Lee narrowly pipped Indonesia's Williems Johanes Doroh, who finished a mere 3 milliseconds behind the Singaporean. The initial winner, Jamaica's Delmar Campbell, was disqualified.

"I'm very happy with Maveric - he has been very consistent," said Lee's coach Noor Hanif Sulaimee. "He was also very determined and focused."

ONCE LEFT HOME, NOW ON THE PODIUM

In the 50m breaststroke M6 division, Siau Ek Jin claimed bronze with a personal best timing of 47.95 seconds.

Siau Ek Jin (centre) poses for a photograph. (Photo: Special Olympics Singapore)

Siau, who was a reserve at the previous edition of the Games in Los Angeles, said he was excited to be given the chance to finally compete at the meet.

"I was disappointed when I was not selected for the last World Games four years ago," said Siau. "When I was finally selected for this World Games, I was very happy and excited."

"You would marvel at his sense of focus in the water. He had some fierce competitors and at some point he was lagging behind," said his coach Maria Koh. "But he kept on going, focusing on his strokes and speed."

Singapore's joy was not confined to the track and pool as the country's bowlers also took home a silver courtesy of Siti Nurhamizah Hamzah in the singles D11 division.

"She did very well. We set some goals last year when we first started training together," said coach Adam Lim. "We planned for her to hit a 140 average here - she bowled a 415, which is almost a 139 average.

Siti Nurhamizah Hamzah (left) with teammate Assekin Mohamed Anuar. (Photo: Special Olympics Singapore)

"I hope that this helps her see that all her efforts pay off and that if she continues to work hard, she can achieve anything."

Another athlete under Lim's charge, Sarhan Zuhir, finished with a bronze in the singles D34 division.

Rusydi Abdullah, 16, won his and the bocce team's first medal at the Special Olympics with a silver in the singles M8 division. His teammate Chew Jun Hong added to the tally later in the day with a bronze in the singles M11 division.

"A silver and a bronze is awesome! I told them to just do their best and have fun," said coach Norhaiza Binte Yep Abu. "Jun Hong was competing in a higher division against very good players, so bronze is a good result for him.

"Rusydi always said that he wants to do the country proud and his family proud. He has done that today."

"We are proud of the athletes' performances today - from clocking personal best times to putting up good showings when up against opponents who were sometimes bigger and taller," added Singapore's head of delegation Lee Theng Ngee. "They have shown determination and focus."

Source: CNA/mt(mn)

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