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Sazali Abdul Aziz
Friday, Jul 4, 2014

Sports

Two stars, different goals

The New Paper | Sazali Abdul Aziz | Friday, Jul 4, 2014

National shooter Martina Lindsay Veloso (above) and marathoner Mok Ying Ren have performed so well in recent events that they will bear the burden of medal expectations.

One is a young star on the rise, the other is already a SEA Games champion.

Teenage shooter Martina Lindsay Veloso and marathoner Mok Ying Ren will be competing at the Commonweatlth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, from July 23 to Aug 3, and they have their own targets.

Singapore Sports School student Martina, only 14, made headlines last year when she became the first Singaporean to achieve a perfect score of 400 in the women's 10m air rifle.

Last month, she added another feather to her cap when she became the Republic's first shooter to win a World Cup event.

While her performances over the last 18 months have made her a medal prospect, Martina insists she is not thinking about it.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, she said: "No lah... I can't keep thinking about it. If I do, I'll get more pressured and it'll affect my shooting.

"I can't promise anything. In shooting, when you get to the finals, you start from zero. Anything can happen, you might do well or your performance might drop."

Martina was speaking on the sidelines of the Team Singapore Flag Presentation ceremony for contingents representing the Republic at the Commonwealth Games and the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games (Aug 16 to 24) at the Bank of Singapore Lounge at the brand-new Sports Hub.

She is one of four Singapore athletes who will compete at both Games - the others are swimmers Nur Marina Chan and Samantha Yeo, and shuttler Liang Xiaoyu.

Mok aims to set a new national record in Glasgow, where he feels the cool weather will help.

Mok won gold at the Myanmar SEA Games last year with a time of 2hr 28min 35sec in chilly 17 deg C weather, although the mark was short of his personal best of 2:26.33.

He feels he has a chance of rewriting M Rameshon's 18-year-old national record of 2:24.22.

"I'm still not sure about the course profile and for road marathons, it's one of the factors you have to take into account.

"I'll definitely have to play it by ear and adapt to the course.

"But for sure, I'm looking to try and break the national record."

RECEIVED FLAGS

Yesterday, gymnast Lim Heem Wei and swimmer Jonathan Chan received flags from Low Teo Ping and Mark Chay, the chefs de mission for the Commonwealth Games and YOG, respectively.

Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin, who graced the occasion along with Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Lawrence Wong, hopes Singapore's athletes at the Games do well in preparation for next June's SEA Games on home soil.

Tan, the new Singapore National Olympic Council president, said: "Every sport will have its own rhythm (as they prepare for the SEA Games) but these Games... are also important.

"They're stepping stones... and if they (athletes) do well there, it would boost their confidence."

As for the medal target for the Glasgow Games, chef de mission Low expects Team Singapore to match the Republic's haul of 31 medals (11 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze) at the New Delhi Games in 2010.

"I think the contingent size is 70 - just a couple more than the team that went to Delhi - so I suppose the expectation here would be no more, no less of what we achieved then," he said.

"In every Games, especially those that have an international flavour, it is always expected of our athletes who have qualified to do better than their personal best.

"It's important they work towards that target and I think, with that, we can be satisfied we've selected the right people."

msazali@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 02, 2014.
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