Photo credit: Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC)
Singapore is sending a 31-strong contingent to the 4th Asian Para Games (APG) in Hangzhou, China. Swimmers Yip Pin Xiu and Sophie Soon, though, will not be part of Team Singapore’s campaign as their events were cancelled due to a lack of competitors. Between 22nd and 28th of October, our athletes will strive for honour and glory across nine disciples: archery, athletics, badminton, boccia, lawn bowls, powerlifting, shooting, swimming and table tennis. Here’s a quick rundown of who they are and which events they will be competing in:
1. Archery : Nur Syahidah Binte Alim - 38 PI
Born with cerebral palsy, Syahidah picked up archery when she was 18. She went on to represent Singapore at various multi-Games. Her proudest moment arrived in 2016 when she became the first Singaporean female archer to feature at the Paralympic Games. Syahidah, also a world champion, has sealed a spot for Team Singapore in next year’s Paris Paralympic Games. Cheer her on in the Women Individual Compound Open event!
2. Athletics : James Ethan Ang Kai Meng - 22 VI
James, who will be making his Asian Para Games debut, is a year 3 law undergraduate at the Singapore Management University. Despite his visual impairment, he balances the dual challenge of studying and training commitments. In the recent ASEAN Para Games, the 22-year-old brought home two silver medals from the T13 200m and 400m races, setting a national record in the latter event. James is slated to participate in those two events in Hangzhou.
3. Athletics : Lionel Toh Jun Jie - 24 PI
Lionel has regularly represented Team Singapore, which includes three ASEAN Para Games and the 2018 Asian Para Games. Born with cerebral palsy, Lionel, an avid sports fan, constantly challenges himself to improve and be better. Scheduled to take part in the 100m T37 and 200m T37, the 24-year-old will be aiming to eclipse the national record marks he set for both events.
4. Athletics : Maisarah Binte Mohamed Hassan - 25 PI
Maisarah started competing during her schooling days at APSN Delta Senior School. Despite her cerebral palsy, which leaves the left side of her body weak, Maisarah is the national record holder for the Women’s 100m T36 race. The Asian Para Games debutant arrives in Hangzhou on the back of setting consecutive season bests in that event at the ASEAN Para Games and Paris Para Athletics World Championships. Maisarah is also entered in the 200m T36 event.
5. Athletics : Maveric Lee Dong En - 20 II
Maveric took an interest in athletics when he was 10 years old and was scouted by coach Hosni. Despite his autism, he advocates for awareness around the lifelong condition. The Asian Para Games debutant feels that being part of Team Singapore is his pride and honour and he is constantly working hard to achieve his dream of becoming a better athlete. Maveric will be participating in the Men’s 400m T20, which he holds the national record.
6. Athletics : Muhammad Diroy Bin Noordin - 31 PI
Diroy has showcased his vast experience from competing in numerous multi-Games. His proudest moment came in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, when he was Team Singapore’s flag bearer. The 31-year-old went on to break his own national record twice in the Shot Put F40 event, throwing a distance of 9.92m. Diroy also scooped back-to-back gold medals in the previous two ASEAN Para Games. Cheer him on in the Shot Put F40 competition in Hangzhou!
7. Athletics : Muhammad Nur Ariq Bin Yaakub - 20 II
Inspired by the legendary sprint king Usain Bolt, Ariq took up running when he was 16. He shone in the 2021 Asian Youth Para Games, where he clinched gold in the 400m T20 event. Ariq, who will be making his Asian Para Games bow, has also gone on to better the national record several times in 2022. Show your support for Ariq in the 400m T20 race!
8. Athletics : Shaman Pandian s/o Jeyabalan - 21 II
Making his Asian Para Games debut, Shaman has loved the track since his schooling days. Under the tutelage of coach Hosni, the 21-year-old Shaman has developed his skills in track events and is constantly challenging himself to improve. Shaman will be taking part in the Men’s 400m T20, where he holds the national record.
9. Athletics : Siti Nurhayati Binte Ali Aksar - 21 II
Despite her young age, Siti has vast experience in major Games. This Hangzhou trip will mark the 21-year-old’s second Asian Para Games. Siti is the fastest female athlete in the Intellectual Impairment category and got acquainted with the sport when she was a student at Grace Orchard School. Siti will be participating in the Women’s 400m T20 race, which she owns the national record.
10. Athletics : Suhairi Bin Suhani - 26 II
Suhairi was the first Sports Excellence scholar with an intellectual impairment and has taken part in several major Games, including the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Although the world classifies him as intellectually disabled, Suhairi frowns at the label. The 26-year-old will be determined to improve on his 2018 Asian Para Games showing, which he finished fifth in the Long Jump T20.
11. Badminton : Ang Chee Hiong - 44 PI
A national shuttler before acquiring his disability, Chee Hiong will be making his Asian Para Games debut in Hangzhou. The 44-year-old, who has a cold shower and listens to classical music as his pre-match rituals, hopes a good showing will boost his 2024 Paris Paralympics chances. He will be competing in the Singles SL4 and the Doubles SU5 with Tay Wei Ming.
12. Badminton : Tay Wei Ming - 35 PI
Singapore’s first ever Para-Badminton World Champion, Wei Ming has 15 years of experience competing internationally. The 35-year-old was born with Erb’s palsy, a condition that damaged the nerves in his right arm. Wei Ming, who believes in his own philosophy “Either I give it my all, or I don’t do it at all!”, is targeting a ticket to next year’s Paris Paralympics. He will be taking part in the singles SU5 and is paired with Ang Chee Hiong in the Doubles SU5.
13. Boccia : Aloysius Gan Kai Hong - 17 PI
Just 17 years of age, Asian Para Games debutant Aloysius is also the youngest member of the Singapore contingent. His most notable conquest is clinching gold in the BC3 Pairs event at the recent World Youth Championships. Acquainted with the sport since he was 7, Aloysius says his goal is to be able to qualify for the Paris Paralympics. Cheer him on in the Individual BC3 and Mixed Pairs BC3, where he is teamed up with Toh Sze Ning.
14. Boccia : Jeralyn Tan Yee Ting - 34 PI
Jeralyn enters Hangzhou on the back of two World Cup title triumphs and a silver at this year’s ASEAN Para Game. Since her breakthrough year in 2021, the 34-year-old has continued to shine. She is also currently Asia’s top ranked female athlete and second in the world rankings. Cheer her on in the Individual BC1 event!
15. Boccia : Nurulasyiqah Mohd Taha - 38 PI
Nurulasyiqah Mohd Taha (Nurul) started playing boccia almost two decades ago and is a two-time Paralympian. She was also part of the BC3 pair, where she combined with Toh Sze Ning to finish fourth at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Nurul also took silver in the pair event at the 2018 Asian Para Games. This Hangzhou adventure will mark her fourth Asian Para Games, where she will be aiming to improve on her 6th place finish in the BC3 Individual event.
16. Boccia : Toh Sze Ning - 30 PI
Sze Ning has represented Singapore in several major Games, going way back to the 2014 ASEAN Para Games. Most notably, she combined with Nurulasyiqah Mohd Taha (Nurul) to finish just outside the podium in the BC3 Pairs event at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The 30-year-old also took gold in the BC3 Individual event at last year’s World Boccia Intercontinental Challenger. Her personal philosophy is to never dream of success but work for it. Cheer Sze Ning on in the Individual BC3 and Mixed Pairs BC3 events!
17. Lawn Bowls : Faridah Binte Salleh - 66 PI
Faridah took up lawn bowls competitively in 2016, switching from para shooting. Aspiring to bring back a gold medal and make Singapore proud, the 66-year-old hopes to drum up more public interest for the sport. Faridah will be competing in the Singles and Mixed Pairs of the B6 category.
18. Lawn Bowls : James Joseph Michael - 56 PI
James Joseph got associated with lawn bowls in 2019 and very swiftly donned national colours at various tournaments. This will be his debut Asian Para Games and he’s hoping to replicate his gold medal performance earlier this year in the B7 category of the Thailand Para Lawn Bowls International Championship. Working in the food delivery industry, the 56-year-old James sees himself as a hard-working person and loves his family and friends. Cheer James on in the Singles B7 event!
19. Lawn Bowls : Khirmern Bin Mohamad - 53 PI
Khirmern is a man of many talents, having previously represented Singapore in athletics, powerlifting and sailing. The 53-year-old took up lawn bowls only in 2020 and won bronze earlier this year in the Mixed Pairs World Bowls Championship. Khirmern, who lives by his philosophy that limits only exist in your mind, will be participating in the Singles B7 event.
20. Lawn Bowls : Mahendran s/o Pasupathy - 76 VI
76 years young, Mahendran is the most senior athlete in the Team Singapore contingent. The Asian Para Games debutant took up the sport only three years ago, filling him with a sense of pride and accomplishment to have come this far. Mahendran, who will take part in the Singles B3 event, wants to do the best he can and make his country and family proud by winning a medal.
21. Lawn Bowls : Mawjit Singh s/o Gurmet Singh - 59 PI
Mawjit Singh is an ever-presence in the para sports scene, starting as a team manager before switching to the playing field. This Hangzhou trip will mark his third Asian Para Games. Undeterred by a full shoulder operation that has made his training challenging, the 59-year-old wants to do his best and get on the podium for the first time. Cheer him on in the Singles and Mixed Pairs of the B6 category!
22. Powerlifting : Nur 'Aini Binte Mohamad Yasli - 31 PI
Once told that powerlifting is not a sport for girls, Nur ‘Aini has defied all odds to become the first Singaporean powerlifter at the Paralympic Games. Diagnosed with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, a condition which impacts bone growth, the 31-year-old picked up the sport in 2017 after being coaxed by coach Kalai Vanen. Nur ‘Aini also won Singapore’s first-ever medals in Women’s Powerlifting (50kg class) at the ASEAN Para Games earlier this year.
23. Shooting : Chan Han Siong - 36 PI
Daniel was first introduced to shooting during his National Service. After pursuing his bachelor’s degree in the game of Go (commonly known as Weiqi), his interest for the precision sport was rekindled in 2016. In September, Daniel shot a 569 in the 10m Air Pistol SH1 category of the World Shooting Para Sport Championships, just two points shy of the national record set by him. The Asian Games debutant’s motto is “dreams keep you alive”.
24. Swimming : Colin Soon Jin Guang - 18 VI
The feeling of being in water and being able to represent his country in his favourite activity is what keeps Asian Para Games debutant Colin Soon going. The younger brother of Paralympic swimmer Sophie, Colin is versatile and holds the National Record for the 50m Freestyle S13 and 100m Backstroke S13 events, which he is slated to take part in Hangzhou. The 18-year-old is also hoping to splash to victory in the 100m Breaststroke SB13 and the 200m Individual Medley SM13.
25. Swimming : Darren Chan Wei Siang - 20 II
The 20-year-old Darren had a fruitful ASEAN Para Games outing this year, setting the National Record in four events. He will be taking part in three entirely different race categories though in Hangzhou, namely the 100m Breaststroke SB14, 100m Butterfly S14 and the Mixed Relay 4X100m Freestyle S14. This will be Darren's Asian Para Games debut. In his free time, Darren draws, watches webtoons and YouTube videos of swimming competitions.
26. Swimming : Jazlene Tan Shihui - 20 II
Jazlene believes in hard work and never gives up easily to achieving her goals. Taking up swimming at the age of 10, she won her first gold medal at 14 in the Singapore Press Holding (SPH) Para Swimming competition. The Asian Para Games debutant is delighted to represent Singapore in Hangzhou. On top of her pet event, the 100m Breaststroke SB14, Jazlene will also be part of the Mixed Relay 4X100m Freestyle quartet.
27. Swimming : Han Liang Chou - 27 II
Liang Chou, who started swimming when he was five, has represented Singapore in many overseas competitions. Most notably, he had a bumper crop of eight medals (2 gold, 1 silver, 5 bronze) in the 2015 Asean Para Games. He aims to do his best in his debut Asian Para Games and hopes to keep representing the country for as long as possible. Cheer him on in the 100m Breaststroke SB14 and Mixed Relay 4X100m Freestyle S14.
28. Swimming : Moi Yan Ting Danielle - 24 II
Just 24 years of age, Danielle is already a seasoned swimmer. She came onto the scene with a gold and silver performance at the 2017 ASEAN Para Games. Danielle also took bronze in the Para Swimming World Series Australia earlier this year. A recipient of the Haw Par Para Sports Bursary in 2020, Danielle has targeted qualifying for the Paris Paralympic Games. She is entered for four events in Hangzhou, the 100m Backstroke S14, 100m Butterfly S14, 200m Freestyle S14 and Mixed Relay 4x100m Freestyle S14.
29. Swimming : Toh Wei Soong - 25 PI
Toh Wei Soong started swimming at the age of six, as a form of therapy. He was diagnosed with the rare condition of Transverse Myelitis when he was two. Wei Soong trains under Mr Ang Peng Siong, who has been his coach since he started competitive swimming. The 25-year-old, who won two gold and two silvers in this year’s ASEAN Para Games, is scheduled to swim four events under the S7 category. That’s the 50m Butterfly, 50m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke and 400m Freestyle.
30. Swimming : Wong Zhi Wei - 21 VI
Zhi Wei, who has visual impairment, joined competitive swimming at the young age of 13. He rose to prominence in the 2017 Dubai Asian Youth Para Games, bagging three gold medals en route to becoming the most bemedalled athlete at the Games. Currently pursuing a degree in psychology at the National University of Singapore, the 20-year-old hopes to qualify for next year’s Paralympic Games. Zhi Wei is slated to compete in four S13 events in Hangzhou: 50m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 400m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley SM13.
31. Table Tennis : Claire Toh Shu Min - 30 PI
Claire was paralysed from the neck down after a fall from height and took up handcycling as part of her rehabilitation process. She gradually switched to table tennis, a sport she really liked during her primary school days. Claire managed a silver and bronze performance from the recent ASEAN Para Games and is determined to pit her skills in the Singles TT2 event. This will be her Asian Para Games debut.
Singapore’s best Asian Para Games showing was the 2018 edition in Jakarta with a total of 3 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronzes, in 10 sports. Let’s do our part over this one week of intense competition and cheer our Team Singapore athletes to victory!