Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Flying the flag high for Singapore sports, in tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

EVEN though many of Singapore's athletes were involved in overseas sporting meets over the past week, they have kept the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew close to their hearts.

They did it by dedicating their victories to him, especially on social media platforms, with most posts attracting hundreds or even thousands of likes. Here are four sports where athletes have paid a fitting tribute to the country's first Prime Minister.

1. Bowling 

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The national boys' bowling team of Javier Tan, Brandan Tan, Joel Tan and Muhammad Jaris Goh won the team title at the 18th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Macau yesterday.

They clinched victory with a 5,289 pinfall total, with South Korea (5,164) and Malaysia (5,163) finishing second and third respectively.

Afterwards, technical director of Singapore Bowling Federation Mervyn Foo said: "Given the significance of the day, I am very proud of them for having achieved the gold. It is a great honour for us to pay tribute to our founding father with a win like this."

2. Swimming

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Quah Zheng Wen's sensational time of 1min 56.85sec in the men's 200m butterfly at the Spanish Open meant that he is the first national swimmer to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

His mark was below the 'A' qualifying time of 1:56.97.

Said Singapore Swimming Association's assistant head coach Gary Tan: "Yesterday, Sergio and I spoke to the swimmers about swimming with pride for Singapore and about how our founding father Lee Kuan Yew inspired our nation to be great.

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"We told them that for all our swims during this meet we will dedicate it to him."

3. Athletics 

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Singaporean pole-vaulter Rachel Yang re-wrote the national record after leaping 3.83m high at the Malaysia Open yesterday.

The 33-year-old has been juggling heavy commitments of being a mum and studying for her MBA, but she defied all odds and credited her feat to the thought of doing it for the late Mr Lee.

She wrote in a Facebook post, which has since attracted over 12,000 likes: "Today, I let go of every negative thought and I only thought about you. At 3.83m, I failed my first attempt. But I went back to my start point and reminded myself that I have to make you proud, I need to clear that height for you. I did it and I will do better.

"A gold medal, a new national record and SEA Games qualification. Thank you, Sir, for being a role model and inspiration."

4. Motorsport

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Singapore's sole female driver Claire Louise Jedrek sped across the finish line to claim second in the Malaysian Championship Series at Sepang yesterday. The 32-year-old, who represents Malaysia-based R Engineering Team, raced with her Honda Civic FD2 sporting a ribbon decal of Singapore's first Prime Minister.

This was also her maiden podium finish, after picking up competitive racing one year ago.

She wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday: "We weren't able to pay our last respects but Mr Lee Kuan Yew is never far from our thoughts this weekend. One Nation One Singapore."