Figure skating: Singapore will host the first SEA Open from September 2 to 4
SINGAPORE – Axel’s jumps, spirals and spins performed by some of the region’s best athletes will take center stage at JCube’s The Rink this weekend, when Singapore hosts the inaugural SEA Open Figure Skating Trophy.
A total of 110 athletes – including 16 from Singapore – from 12 countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and Korea are expected in 10 categories at the event.
Held from September 2-4, it will be Singapore’s first time to host an international figure skating competition, the Singapore Ice Skating Association (Sisa) said in a statement on Monday (August 29).
The event is sanctioned by the International Skating Union (ISU) and the Asian Skating Union, and supported by the ISU Development Commission.
The Republic had previously hosted the ISU World Development Trophy, the Tri-Series Cup and the SEA Open Short Track Trophy.
Sisa President Alison Chan said, “We believe this important development initiative will become a key part of the region’s annual competition calendar.”
She also noted that the competition will serve as a boost for Singaporean athletes as they prepare for future SEA Games featuring the sport.
Winter sports made their biennial Games debut in 2017, with Singaporean figure skaters Yu Shuran and Chloe Ing winning one gold and one silver, while their short track speed skaters took home four gold medals. silver and one bronze.
Two years later in the Philippines, Ing won gold in women’s singles figure skating, but the sport was not included in Hanoi 2022 and is also not on the list for the edition of the next year in Cambodia.
Chan added, “With the announcement that SEA Games 2025 (Thailand), 2027 (Malaysia) and 2029 (Singapore) will be hosted in countries that have ice skating infrastructure and athletes, we hope our sport will be again on the SEA Match List.
“We are therefore stepping up our development efforts to prepare our athletes for the Games.”
Among the Singaporean contingent will be 18-year-old Pagiel Sng, who finished fifth on his SEA Games debut in 2019 and will be competing in international competition on home soil for the first time.
The Republic Polytechnic Year 1 student, who will be competing in the senior men’s category, said: “I’m looking forward to putting together two great programs and reconnecting with some of my international skater friends who will be traveling to Singapore to compete.
“During the pandemic given the Covid-19 restrictions, it was a challenge to maintain my passion. I overcame this by making a conscious effort to focus on my skating aspirations. I was also given a new free skating program choreographed and delivered virtually by a professional choreographer in Canada and my coach in the United States (Robi Chalmers) to keep me on track to achieve my goals.”
SISA Technical Director Zhang Wei is looking forward to an action-packed weekend. He said: “Our athletes from Singapore have worked hard to prepare for the competition.
“Although some of our young athletes will be competing in an ISU sanctioned competition for the first time, I believe this will be an important step in their development and they will benefit greatly from this experience.”