Singapore Sportswomen Breaking Records And Living Their Dreams
STORY: Ng Kai
04 March 2021
Singapore is a small island. But there are many big things to celebrate on this Little Red Dot, one of which is our sporting achievement.
Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, we throw the spotlight on some blazing stars from the Singapore Sports School (SSS), sportswomen whose potential, prowess and achievements are truly representative of the Champions Way (incidentally, that’s the name of the road where SSS is located).
Here, a list of sporting talents flying the Singapore flag high in various arenas. Get to know them stat!
The deets: This 28-year-old freestyle swimmer and multi-medal winner holds the title of “fastest woman in Southeast Asia”. When Amanda’s not speeding through the water, she’s going the extra lap by doing charity work. In 2016, she joined The Invisible Hands, a project started by her friends to provide the underprivileged in Singapore with basic necessities. That inspired her to start Team Heartwork with five other young national athletes to continue helping the needy.
Wah seh: She broke the SEA Games Record for Women’s 50m Freestyle and Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay in 2019, and clinched the top spot. She also held the national record of 25.38s (which she set in 2009 at the Asian Youth Games) until March 2017. Amanda currently holds three national records in the 4x100m and 4×200 freestyle relays, as well as the 4x100m medley relay.
The deets: Watch out Tokyo Olympics, this 22-year-old shooter has her sights set on a medal. In 2020, Adele Tan celebrated a gold medal in women's 10m air rifle at the H&N Cup in Munich, setting a national mark in the process.
Wah seh: Adele had won two bronze medals at the 2020 SEA Games in Philippines, in the women's 10m air rifle and mixed 10m air rifle events. With a current world ranking of 14, Adele is definitely gunning for the top spot.
The deets: The 20-year-old fencer has certainly made a point about her skills. In 2017, Amita Berthier left her mark in the Singapore history books as the first Singaporean to win a Junior World Cup title in fencing. She actually started out as a football player (Amita’s father was a huge fan of Arsenal) and was enrolled into the JSSL Singapore football academy at an early age. But a chance trip to Z Fencing International Academy at Novena left an impression on her and she’s never looked back.
Wah seh: In 2017, she became a SEA Games gold medallist and a World Cadet Championships Bronze medallist. In 2019, she won an individual gold medal at the Asian Junior Championships and swept 3 more medals at the International Fencing Federation Junior World Cups. Really medals gao gao.
Sport: Artistic Swimming
The deets: This mesmerising 23-year-old has been one of the mainstays of Singapore’s national team for the last eight years. Apart from her many achievements, she’s even played the role of “Ariel” at Wild Wild Wet while dressed in a customised blue and white costume enchanting kids behind the transparent glass. She’s admitted that during training, there have been times when she wanted to give up due to weight management and body image issues. But her love for the sport motivated her to push through.
Wah seh: In 2018, Debbie received the Sportsgirl of the Year Award. She is the only artistic swimmer to have won it. Since her senior debut at the 2013 FINA World Championships at the age of 15, she hasn’t missed a beat. Debbie swam at the next three World Championships and the 2018 Asian Games, and is a five-time SEA Games gold medallist. She even won Singapore’s first gold medal of the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
The deets: Although retired, this 30-year-old track superstar has left a blazing legacy. When she was 21, she held three records across four different age-groups records, and was multi-talented in not just the hurdles, but the sprints up to 400 metres. An all-rounder, Dipna received an award from the Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda) in 2015 under the category "Special Mention of Outstanding Achievements".
Wah seh: The 100m hurdles was Dipna’s pet event, for which she held the national record from 2008-2014. And don’t play-play, she’s an Olympian okay: Dipna took part in the 100m hurdles event at the 2012 London Olympic Games. She was Singapore’s first track representative in 36 years, after Tang Pui Wah’s 1952 Helsinki appearance in women’s hurdles.
Sport: Rhythmic Gymnastics
The deets: The 22-year-old combines art with athletic prowess in an almost breath-taking manner. Edlyn has been training since the tender age of six and started donning the Singapore crest on the left sleeve of her leotard at eight. She’s even performed for the public at Star Vista during GymFest, an annual gymnastics exhibition gala organised by Singapore Gymnastics.
Wah seh: During the 2015 SEA Games, Edlyn was part of the quintet (and the only remaining member) that won the rhythmic group all-around category. And In 2014, Edlyn helped the team to clinch two medals in Singapore’s best performance at the Pacific Rim Championships – the first time Singapore has won a medal at the competition.
The deets: She may be a laojiao, but she’s far from resting on her laurels. The talented 32-year-old was formerly a school and club swimmer for Tao Nan Primary School, Chinese Swimming Club and Singapore Swimming Club and was among the top 3 fastest of her age group, winning many medals and trophies. When Jazreel switched full-time to bowling, she continued her sporting excellence and has achieved many milestones.
Wah seh: Jazreel is a two-time Singapore Sportsgirl of the Year, Asian Games Gold Medallist, World Women's Championship Masters Silver Medallist, three-time US Collegiate Bowler of the Year and MVP and also American Amateur Bowler of the Year.
The deets: The 1.75m tall 25-year-old is the current vice-captain of the Singapore national team and was awarded the Goh Chok Tong Youth Promise Award in 2014. Off the hard court, she was part of the football team from Republic Polytechnic that won their third consecutive POL-ITE title.
Wah seh: Aqilah was part of the victorious Singaporean squad during the 2014 Asian Netball Championships and was also a member of the Singaporean contingent which bagged silver at the 2017 SEA Games. In September 2019, she was included in the Singaporean squad for the 2019 M1 Nations Cup and was part of the national team which emerged as runners-up to Namibia in the final.