Team Singapore is on Cloud Nine ! Flying home after competing in the World Pickleball Championship Series in Bali.
Our 34 players and supporters enjoyed a week long stay at Bali, one of the most beautiful places in South-East Asia. Yummy food, friendly people, peaceful surroundings, and pickleball galore to top it all off. Our players played intensely over the five days of competition, with the non-stop matches leaving many players exhausted.
Despite our small player population, Singapore players have outdone themselves across many divisions, earning many podium finishes during this 3rd edition of World Pickleball Championship, with medals earned across all age and skill groups. During the live broadcast, the commentators (Scott Golden and Jan David) commended the passion of our players, our easy going nature, along with our dear friends and rivals... the sport loving Aussies from the land of Downunder and the strong contingent from India. The liveliness and excitement of the players can be felt from these photos alone.
We make many new friends from Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia ...
If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? There are all sorts of social science data that highlight its benefits. Runners run faster when racing against a rival, picklers' reaction times improving when facing a strong opponent when compared to practicing against a ball machine, for example. For that reason, we embrace rivalry by competing in tournaments such as this one in Bali.
Our players will strive to perform better every time, as past performances are not a guarantee for future results. It is from tournaments like this that we learn and change the way we play the game. It may not be easy, but obsolescence is worse.
We medaled in 30 divisions, 13 gold, 9 silver and 8 bronze in the individual event. Here is our Medal standing:-
Women's Doubles 19+ Open
2nd - Pini Lee and Varsha Majmudar
Women's Doubles 19+ Advanced
2nd - Macy Guo and Michelle Lim
3rd - Amanda Teo and Lauren Ling
Women's Doubles 50+ Open
1st - Pini Lee and Varsha Majmudar
Women's Doubles 50+ Intermediate
1st - Pin Foo and Poh Beng Bee
Women's Singles 50+ Open
1st - Pini Lee
2nd - Pin Foo
Women's Singles 50+ Intermediate
1st - Poh Beng Bee
Men's Doubles 50+ Open
1st - Yeo Jih-Shian and Martin Clark (AUS)
3rd - Hari Mohan and Jasen Tham
Men's Doubles 50+ Advanced
1st - Hari Mohan and Jasen Tham
Men's Doubles 60+ Intermediate
1st - Roger Ho and Russell Abetratne (Thailand)
Men's Singles 19+ Intermediate
3rd - Aaron Kwek
Men's Singles 50+ Open
1st - Yeo Jih-Shian
2nd - Hari Mohan
Men's Singles 50+ Advanced
3rd - Hari Mohan
Men's Singles 50+ Intermediate
1st - Tony Koh
3rd - David Su
Men's Singles 60+ Advanced
3rd - Jasen Tham
Men's Singles 60+ Intermediate
1st - Roger Ho
Mixed Doubles 19+ Open
2nd - Aditya Ruhela and Macy Guo
Mixed Doubles 19+ Advanced
3rd - Yeo Jih Shian and Macy Guo
Mixed Doubles 19+ Intermediate
2nd - Aaron Kwek and Jolene Tan
Mixed Doubles 50+ Open
1st - Martin Clark and Pini Lee
2nd - Jasen Tham and Varsha Majmudar
3rd - Hari Mohan and Pin Foo
Mixed Doubles 50+ Advanced
1st - Hari Mohan and Pin Foo
2nd - Yeo Jih Shian and Ani Susana (Indonesia)
Mixed Doubles 50+ Intermediate
2nd - Tony Koh and Poh Beng Bee
Mixed Doubles 60+ Intermediate
1st - Roger Ho and Vivien Yeo
Highlighted in blue are from Bukit Gombak CSN team
A special mention to Pini Lee, our Bukit Gombak golden girl, who won another triple crown and was a member of the gold medal winning team.
Winning gold with her doubles partner, Varsha, in the Open 50+ , exemplifies the team spirit that is inherent in this group of players. They paired well as a team, moving up and down the court in tandem; one sets up the rally, and the other puts it away...a joy to watch. We wish them all the best in the coming US Nationals at Minto.
Team Event - Champion Team SG-IN-USA
Apart from our individual performances and achievements in Bali, we are delighted that a team comprising of players from USA (1), India (2), and Bukit Gombak CSN (9) won Gold in the Team Challenge event, beating teams from India, Australia, and Taiwan for the prestigious trophy. Fourteen teams in total have registered in this event. Team Australia, Team Thailand and Team Expat, like Team Singapore, also opened their doors to accommodate players who wished to experience a team event, but were not able to form a team due to a lack of members. The game of pickleball is meant to be inclusive.
Left photo :- ADITYA RUHELA and DIVYANSHU KATARIA from India
Right photo: - KRYSTYAN LAZARIN from USA
Singaporean players are down to earth, competing with a smile on our faces and an unruffled demeanour. We treat our opponents as rivals while on the court, yet as friends when the match is over. The pickleball culture is based on this philosophy.
The most important part about pickleball is that it provides a good excuse for a holiday getaway, drinking beer and eating junk food. Pickleball is about enjoying the small moments. Moments with our team mates, our opponents, and even strangers. Podium finishes are the goal for many, but the journey towards that goal can be inadvertently joyous and rewarding.....
A special thank you to our sponsor, Skechers Singapore for sponsoring our whole Singapore team beautiful and comfortable outfit for this event.
Editor: John Ng
Photo credits: Jolene Tan