Singapore’s flag is being flown high by 42 NUS students and alumni donning the Republic’s colours at the ongoing 2019 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in the Philippines.
Their events range from traditional sports including athletics, water polo, softball and rugby, to more recent additions to the Games such as dancesport and E-sports.
The Games officially started on 30 November and will run till 11 December and the NUS athletes are already starting to bag medals for the Republic.
NUS alumni Mr Chiam Kunyang and Mr Koh Jian Ying, together with current undergraduates NUS Business Year 4 students Ang An Jun and Ooi Yee Jia, are part of the men's water polo team that claimed bronze on 1 December.
Earlier in the day, the women’s water polo team won the country’s first medal at the Games by bagging silver. The team included NUS alumni Ms Gina Koh and Ms Angeline Teo, as well as NUS Arts and Social Sciences Year 1 student Melissa Chan, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Year 1 student Mounisha Devi and NUS Law Year 1 student Nadyn Kei.
Mounisha shared that the women’s water polo team has been training together for less than a year.
Despite being a fairly new team, the girls had put in many hours at the pool, and the medal is a reward for their efforts.
“My family has been very supportive, waking up at 5am to send me for training, and picking me up close to 11pm afterwards,” said Mounisha. “Especially my sister who was there when I was struggling. And of course, my team mates and coaches — without them, I would not have made it this far.”
Fencing is another sport that has been a mainstay at the SEA Games over the years. In this regard, Singapore's top men and women sabre fencers both hail from NUS.
Choy Yu Yong, who is in his second year in NUS Business, is the top-ranked men’s sabre fencer in Singapore.
On her part, Jolie, a Year 2 NUS Science student, is the top-ranked women’s sabre fencer in the Republic. At the World University Games held in Napoli in July this year, Jolie came in within the top 16 — the highest any Singaporean fencer has achieved at this tournament which is second only to the Olympics Games.
NUS Law Year 2 student Tatiana Wong and NUS Medicine Year 4 student Joshua Ian Lim represent Singapore in the foil category for fencing. Kiria Tikanah Abdul Rahman, a Year 1 student from the Department of Chemistry at NUS Science, represents the country in the epee category.
Kiria struck gold at the women's individual epee event on 4 December, while Joshua won a joint bronze medal in the men's foil individual event on the same day.
Joshua and NUS Medicine Year 1 student Darren Tan were part of the men's foil team that won gold.
This edition of the SEA Games includes some newer events, such as dancesport. It is only the third time that dancesport is being featured at the SEA Games, after it was included in the 2005 Games also held in the Philippines and in the 2007 Games in Thailand.
Siblings Rachel and Jerome Teo have excelled, winning three medals on 1 December. They grabbed silver in the mixed standard foxtrot, as well as bronze medals in the mixed standard Viennese waltz and mixed standard waltz events.
Rachel, a Second Year student at NUS Arts and Social Sciences, and Jerome, who is in his First Year of the Double Degree Programme in Engineering & Economics, will go down in history as part of the contingent to have won the first SEA Games medals for Singapore in dancesport.
Click here to see a video of Rachel and Jerome's silver medal-winning foxtrot dance.
Click here to read a feature on NUS student Robert Boon, who is representing Singapore at e-sports.