Asean Schools Games: Cauldron, oath a test for pair

Jade Lim and Eric Yee have ceremonial duties to fulfil today. She will light the cauldron at the opening ceremony at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, while he will recite the athletes' oath.
Jade Lim and Eric Yee have ceremonial duties to fulfil today. She will light the cauldron at the opening ceremony at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, while he will recite the athletes' oath.PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Swimmer Jade Lim to light ASG flame with ex-football star father, as she eyes first gold

Jade Lim and Eric Yee are both seasoned athletes but each will need to master a different type of pressure when the Asean Schools Games open today.

Temasek Junior College swimmer Jade, 17, will light the Games' cauldron with her father, former national footballer Lim Tong Hai.

The father-daughter act at the Singapore Indoor Stadium will mirror the 2015 SEA Games, when local football legend Fandi Ahmad lit the cauldron alongside his eldest son Irfan.

Jade, the Schools National A Division 50m and 100m breaststroke champion, said: "I hope I don't fall down."

Similarly nervous is Hwa Chong Institution discus thrower Eric Yee. The affable 18-year-old will lead the student-athletes in reciting the athletes' oath.

He said: "I've never spoken in front of a full stadium before. I think it's going to be quite scary but I'm taking this role seriously, like how an athlete approaches a competition."

But ceremonial duties aside, both are focused on doing well in the coming week.

Jade is aiming to finally clinch a gold medal, after bagging a silver and two bronze medals in three previous Games. She is pencilled in for the 100m and 200m breaststroke and 50m backstroke at the Singapore Sports School (SSP).

"I'm considered a veteran now, and I've a bigger role, being the captain of the swimming team. I'm expected to help and guide some of the younger swimmers," she said.

Eric, the national Under-18 record holder, is confident that he will break his personal best of 55.06m tomorrow at Bishan Stadium.

He said: "I've been throwing 60m in training."

The ASG will kick off today with a vibrant showcase of youth, featuring more than 600 student performers including military bands and singers and dancers from various schools.

The competition will run from tomorrow to July 19. The closing ceremony will take place at Universal Studios Singapore next Thursday.

For the first time since the annual meet began in 2009, all 10 South-east Asian nations are represented. A total of 1,650 athletes and officials will feature in the 10 sports.

Singapore will be represented by 205 athletes from 45 schools. The hosts are involved in all 10 sports.

The Republic's chef de mission, Tan Teck Hock, also the principal of SSP, said: "There is no medal target for (the team). They are training hard... and are committed to doing their best.

"I encourage our student-athletes to also deepen their passion, and forge enduring friendships with peers from the Asean region."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2017, with the headline 'Cauldron, oath a test for pair'. Print Edition | Subscribe