No more SIN, it's SGP at sports meets

The leaderboard of the men's 100m butterfly final at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The leaderboard of the men's 100m butterfly final at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.SCREENGRAB: YOUTUBE/OLYMPIC CHANNEL

Singapore will no longer be abbreviated as SIN at international sporting events.

Look out for SGP instead.

The country-code change was approved by the International Olympic Committee last month, following a proposal made by the Singapore National Olympic Council.

The first major Games where the new code can be used is at next year's Sapporo Asian Winter Games.

Mr Low Teo Ping, Singapore's chef de mission at the recent Rio Olympic Games, said he has been asked "a thousand times" at sports events why the country adopted the old code, with its negative connotations. Mr Low, who is also Singapore Rugby Union president, said: "It's not so much a derogatory way of interpreting the old code.

"It hasn't done us any harm.

"But, at the same time, it's also not funny after a certain point of time."

Mr Low added that there is uniformity now, as Singapore's United Nations country code is SGP.

But its International Air Transport Association airport code remains as SIN.

He said: "I think that the change is for a good reason. UN has been using this (code), so it's nice to be known like this internationally."

SEA Games 200m sprint champion and national record holder Shanti Pereira said that the change is not a big deal.

The 19-year-old athlete added: "We will get used to it. It's a good thing that it still starts with an 'S'.

"But I think that is not the main thing we pay attention to anyway. We are identified more by our flags, especially when we don our national colours."

However, national sailor Colin Cheng said that he and his teammates will have to replace the letters - which are prominent on their sails - with new stickers.

The 27-year-old two-time Olympian said: "It might take a while for us to get used to it. Some of them might be sentimental."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 18, 2016, with the headline 'No more SIN, it's SGP at sports meets'. Print Edition | Subscribe