Singapore wins first medal at world U-24 frisbee meet

Singapore's ultimate frisbee team beat Latvia 15-12 to claim the bronze medal.
Singapore's ultimate frisbee team beat Latvia 15-12 to claim the bronze medal.PHOTO: ULTIMATE PLAYERS ASSOCIATION (SINGAPORE)/FACEBOOK

Singapore's ultimate frisbee team won their first-ever medal at the World Under-24 Ultimate Championship on Saturday.

They beat Latvia 15-12 to claim the bronze medal after losing 15-6 to eventual champions the United States in the semi-finals.

The event, held in Heidelberg, Germany, featured 1,150 athletes from 29 countries. The US beat Japan 15-12 in the final.

Head coach Benjamin Ho said: "This achievement gave the team and the ultimate frisbee community in Singapore the belief that it's possible for us to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world.

"The whole campaign was self-funded by the players and coaches and we hope that this achievement will gain our sport more recognition.

"We hope that our athletes will have more support in future campaigns, so we can focus on bringing more honour and glory to Singapore."

Ho, who is also the vice-president of national development and programme at the Ultimate Players Association (Singapore), said that the team were made up of players from different schools and clubs, and the coaches had to find ways to break up different cliques that had formed.

The 33-year-old credited the success to his team's hard work and unique playing style.

"The team and coaches had to collect as much information from various sources to understand our opponents better," he said.

"Some of our players had to double up to take on scouting roles and work with the coaches for our team strategies.

"Our unique skill set and footwork worked against the bigger opponents who were not used to this style of play."

Captain Ryan Lee was proud of his team's "belief and grit".

He said: "Coming from a small country, it was difficult to imagine us standing on the podium next to powerhouses like the US and Japan, who had professional team staff to support them.

"But this journey showed us that with belief and grit, miracles do happen. As long as we work hard enough, the results will never disappoint."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore's first medal at world U-24 meet'. Print Edition | Subscribe