S'pore lap up two bronzes in Special Olympics

Singapore swimmers Danielle Moi and Han Liang Chou with their medals.
Singapore swimmers Danielle Moi and Han Liang Chou with their medals.PHOTO COURTESY OF MCCY

Team Singapore got off to a good start at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles yesterday by winning two bronze medals.

Swimming in the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, Danielle Moi, 15, and Han Liang Chou, 18 - who are intellectually disabled - posted podium finishes in the women's 200m individual medley and men's 100m backstroke respectively.

Team Singapore's 33-strong contingent are competing in seven sports - aquatics, athletics, badminton, bocce, bowling, football and table tennis.

This is the first time that the Republic are taking part in women's football and table tennis at the championships.

The 14th edition of the Games, which started on Saturday and will go on till Sunday, has drawn 6,500 athletes from 165 countries.

They will vie for honours in 25 different sports.

Officially launched by United States First Lady Michelle Obama on Saturday night (US time), the Games are the biggest sporting event in Los Angeles since the city hosted the 1984 Olympic Games.

Team Singapore's medal quest is boosted by the presence of Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State for Culture, Community and Youth, who is in the city to cheer the athletes on.

"This is a major sporting event for our special Team Singapore athletes and we are all raring to cheer them on in Los Angeles," he had said before he flew to LA.

"I hope this (country's) golden jubilee year will further spur our athletes on as they give their all to fly the Singapore flag high at the Games," he added.

Danielle, who clocked 3min 2.45sec, would have drawn inspiration to improve further after she received her medal from swimming icon Michael Phelps.

The American is the global ambassador for the Special Olympics.

Han's timing was 1min 22.51sec.

During the 2011 Games in Athens in Greece, Singapore's contingent of 45 athletes won 12 golds, 13 silvers and 12 bronzes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2015, with the headline 'S'pore lap up two bronzes in Special Olympics'. Subscribe