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Tharman Shines Spotlight On S'pore Athletes Who Didn't Win Gold, Celebrates Their Parents Too

Tharman Celebrates Singapore Athletes Who Did Not Win Gold For Their Accomplishments

Singapore emerged from this year’s Asian Games with three gold medals, courtesy of Maximilian Maeder, Ryan Lo, and Shanti Pereira. While these three got that much-deserved adulation, Singapore president Tharman Shanmugaratnam put the spotlight on several athletes who got lost in the shuffle.

Mr Tharman named a number of athletes who did not clinch the gold, but nonetheless put on impressive performances in their sport.

Mr Tharman celebrated them for the “mental and emotional rollercoaster” they went through, as well as their parents who have worked hard.

He also praised their “fire” and hoped they inspired many young Singaporeans.

Tharman celebrates Singapore athletes

At the Asian Games 2023, Singapore’s athletes took home three gold medals against the best in Asia. 17-year-old Maximilian Maeder and his compatriot Ryan Lo both took home a gold medal each in Sailing.

Singapore’s sprint queen Shanti Pereira also clinched the gold in the 200m event, to much fanfare and adulation.

Source: Singapore National Olympic Council on Facebook

Yet with so much well-deserved spotlight on these three, our other superb athletes might have gotten left by the wayside.

On Monday (9 Oct), president Tharman Shanmugaratnam posted on Facebook, celebrating the efforts of our athletes who came home without gold.

Ultimately, these athletes went through the same “mental and emotional rollercoaster” as the gold medalists, he said.

Mr Tharman added that the athletes hit obstacles, suffered injuries, and lost confidence, yet still got back up, built their resolves, and trained to do better.

“They each have that fire in them,” Mr Tharman said. “They each add to the Singapore spirit.”

Athletes won silver medals and broke national records

Mr Tharman additionally applauded Marc Brian Louis, who made it to the 100m semi-finals. Though he did not move on to the finals, he broke the national record which had stood for 22 years.

Source: Team Singapore on Facebook

Meanwhile, Jowen Lim earned Singapore’s first-ever silver medal in Men’s Wushu. His fellow athlete Kimberly Ong won the bronze medal in Women’s Wushu.

Source: Heng Swee Keat on Facebook

Teong Tzen Wei won the silver medal in the Men’s 50m Butterfly event. Mr Tharman emphasised his impressive performance despite “a year of ups and downs”.

Source: Singapore Aquatics on Facebook

In badminton, he praised the efforts of the young Nge Joon Jie and Johann Prajogo. Both just 19, they fought through to the quarterfinals of the Men’s Doubles.

Yeo Jia Min, on the other hand, faced a monstrous opponent in the Olympic Champion, Chen Yufei. Yeo put up a good fight and took a game off her before eventually losing.

Source: Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Facebook

Noah Lim and Stephanie Chen among those lauded

Mr Tharman also praised three-time SEA Games gold medalist Noah Lim (left), who narrowly missed out on a medal in Jiu-Jitsu.

Source: Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Facebook

The Women’s 100m Medley quartet received a shoutout as well. Mr Tharman pointed out how they would have gotten bronze if not for the split-second error that led to their disqualification.

Source: Singapore Aquatics on Facebook

Then there was Stephanie Chen. The 31-year-old got the silver medal at the Women’s Kayak Singles 500m. She only lost by a second to China’s Li Dongyin.

Source: ST Photos via Tharman Shanmugaratnam on Facebook

Mr Tharman didn’t stop his praise at just her though. He also celebrated her father, Michael Chen, who drove a taxi for 20 years so he could drive them to their daily early morning training sessions.

After all, the parents and coaches are the ones who keep our athletes going.

Tharman hopes the youth of Singapore grow inspired by these athletes

It truly is impressive for our small country with its even smaller talent pool to produce athletes who have given their all against Asia’s best.

Mr Tharman urged everyone to cheer for them, as they had done their best for Singapore.

He also hoped many young Singaporeans grow inspired by them and aim to do even better for Singapore in the future.

Let’s hope so too!

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Featured image adapted from Team Singapore on Facebook and Singapore Aquatics on Facebook.

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