Olympics: Tan Chuan-Jin issues rallying cry for Team Singapore


RIO DE JANEIRO - A day after the issue of live broadcast for the Rio Olympics was finally resolved, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin called on Singaporeans to rally behind Team Singapore athletes.

The Republic has sent a 25-strong contingent to Brazil, its joint-largest since the 1956 Melbourne Games.

It is also the strongest team with several sports like table tennis, swimming, shooting and sailing hopeful of podium finishes.

At London 2012, Singapore returned with two bronze medals - the country's best haul - but there is quiet optimism within the camp that the class of 2016 can surpass that achievement.

Mr Tan, who is also president of the Singapore National Olympic Committee, said on Friday afternoon: "This is probably one of the squads where we have seemingly one of the better medalling prospects. But I'm always just looking at our athletes performing their best, personal best if possible, and that's really what we can hope for.

"At this level, the Games is very fine margins. All the top athletes it depends on how they perform on the day itself. It's hard to say but our guys are shaping up well."

He had arrived in Rio on Thursday night and visited the national Athletes at the Games Village the next day. He toured their rooms and had lunch with several of them at the dining hall.

The opening ceremony is on Friday, which was the same day that Singapore's national broadcaster Mediacorp announced that it had reach a deal with rights holder Dentsu to screen all the sporting action of the Aug 5-22 Games live.

Mr Tan welcomed the news. He said: "As spectators, as supporters we all would like to watch it live. Even if it was a slight delayed telecast somehow or other we just want it live and it makes a difference.

"There's a lot of public interest in this because a lot of our athletes are here. So I'm very happy as a result of the negotiations there's been some movement.

"All of us benefit and it's now for us to rally around our athletes and to really support them...

"For the rest of us, pray hard, cheer hard and whatever the outcome just cheer them on."