Singapore Sports Awards 2016

Bowlers Ng, Yeo surprised by unexpected wins

Cancer-stricken gymnastics coach Zhu Xiaoping (centre), with her husband Lin Zhenqiu and daughter Vanessa Lin, who is holding her special award for fortitude. She guided the Singapore team to a first-ever gold in last year's SEA Games group all-aroun
Cancer-stricken gymnastics coach Zhu Xiaoping (centre), with her husband Lin Zhenqiu and daughter Vanessa Lin, who is holding her special award for fortitude. She guided the Singapore team to a first-ever gold in last year's SEA Games group all-around competition despite being ill.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Cancer-stricken gymnastics coach Zhu Xiaoping (centre), with her husband Lin Zhenqiu and daughter Vanessa Lin, who is holding her special award for fortitude. She guided the Singapore team to a first-ever gold in last year's SEA Games group all-aroun
Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin (left), Singapore Sports Awards organising committee chairman Tan Eng Liang (second from left) and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu (right) speaking to bowlers Joey Yeo (centre) and Shayna Ng before the ceremony.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

They were both nominated for the top accolades in their respective categories.

But neither Shayna Ng nor Joey Yeo expected to win at the Singapore Sports Awards last night.

The bowlers whooped with joy as Ng took home the Sportswoman of the Year trophy for the second time in three years, while Joey, 18, was named Sportsgirl of the Year. The trio of Ng, New Hui Fen and Cherie Tan also won the Team of the Year (event) title.

Ng, 26, was lauded for her history-making feat last December, when she became the first Singaporean to win the All Events title at the prestigious Women's World Bowling Championships, clinching the gold by topping a 147-strong field by a single pinfall.

Looking sharp in a suit and her hair fashionably gelled, she edged out Feng Tianwei (table tennis), Jasmine Ser (shooting) and Stephenie Chen (canoeing).

Pointing out the latest engraving of her name on the trophy, the kegler said: "It feels great to have the trophy again, seeing my name here two years ago. It feels extraordinary - the same as two years ago. It's not like you can get tired of winning."

  • BEST OF SINGAPORE SPORTS IN 2015

  • Sportsman of the Year

    Joseph Schooling (swimming)

    Sportswoman of the Year

    Shayna Ng (bowling)

    Sportsboy of the Year

    Quah Zheng Wen (swimming)

    Sportsgirl of the Year

    Joey Yeo (bowling)

    Coach of the Year

    Sergio Lopez (swimming)

    Team of the Year (Event)

    Shayna Ng, Cherie Tan and New Hui Fen (bowling trios, World Women's Championships)

    Team of the Year (Team Sport)

    Netball SEA Games team

    Sportsboy/Sportsgirl Team of the Year (Event)

    Jodie Lai, Daniel Hung, James Koh, Muhammad Daniel Yazid and Koh Yi Nian (sailing, Optimist World Championships)

    Best Sports Event of the Year (Local)

    Great Eastern Women's Run

    Best Sports Event of the Year (International)

    BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore

    Most Inspiring Sports Story of the Year

    On His Travels, Patience Is The Greatest Weapon - by Rohit Brijnath for The Sunday Times (The Straits Times)

Ng added that she was surprised she won: "I try not to have any expectations on myself. In bowling, I'm in control, I can try to throw the ball and target."

Joey, who won the Bowling World Open women's singles title in Japan last year, was surprised to win the honour for the first time. She said: "I was surprised to even be a finalist. Honestly I wasn't expecting it, and it wasn't on my mind though I won the World Open."

Yesterday's awards were a recognition of the growth of the bowling fraternity.

Said Ng: "It's a pity we're not an Olympic sport, but it shows that bowling is headed in the right direction. It shows bowling has come a long way in two years, as more and more people are winning now."

A delighted Singapore Bowling Federation chief Jessie Phua added: "We're walking on air right now. The bowlers have time and time again done us proud, and to win a hat-trick of awards tonight is an additional icing on the cake.

"The air is thin up there (at the top level), and for the girls to hold themselves up there is a feat."

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2016, with the headline 'Bowlers Ng, Yeo surprised by unexpected wins'. Print Edition | Subscribe