Badminton's Derek Wong, swimmer Yip Pin Xiu to be Olympic and Paralympic flagbearers

Shuttler Derek Wong and para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu (carrying flags) will be the Olympic and Paralympic flagbearers respectively at the Rio games.
Shuttler Derek Wong and para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu (carrying flags) will be the Olympic and Paralympic flagbearers respectively at the Rio games. ST PHOTO: MAY CHEN

SINGAPORE - National badminton player Derek Wong and para-swimmer Yip Pin Xiu will lead Singapore's Olympic and Paralympic contingents at their respective opening ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro, after they were unveiled as flagbearers on Saturday morning.

Wong, 27, is competing in his second straight Olympics while 24-year-old Yip is due to appear in her third straight Paralympics.

Said Wong, a 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist: "It's a very proud feeling to hold the Singapore flag for the first time. I didn't quite believe it when I was first told."

Singapore's Paralympic contingent will field a record 11 athletes from five sports at the quadrennial event. Said Yip: "The team is getting bigger which is very nice to see. I think it's going to be a very exciting Paralympics to watch."

The Republic will send 25 athletes to the Aug 5-21 Olympic Games. Swimmer Quah Ting Wen was the latest addition to the contingent, having been offered a universality place by world governing body Fina.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-jin, who is also president of the Singapore National Olympic Council was at the official flag presentation ceremony at the Marina Bay Floating Platform together with Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu.

Said Mr Tan: "Team Singapore's participation at these Games have already set significant milestones in our sporting history with record numbers of qualifiers in some sports. With debutants, seasoned campaigners and medallists in the mix, we are very proud of our athletes and are confident that they will fly our flag high and do Singapore proud in Rio."

The official "One Team Singapore" support campaign was launched on Saturday, calling on Singaporeans to come forward in support of national athletes competing in Rio. There will be roadshows at selected FairPrice hypermarts, with the OneTeamSG Cheer Truck making its rounds across the island at various events, such as the National Day Parade and the launch of GetActive! Singapore.

Said Minister Fu: "We'd like to wish (our athletes) the very best. They've been training very hard... I'm sure they will put in all they have to bring us a lot of pride and glory. We're also taking no chances in our preparation, making sure that our athletes and staff are safe and healthy during their stay."