City News catches a slice of the action on Day 9 of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games
|PHOTO: Howard Kuay|
The persistent drizzle on the evening of Aug. 23 caused some to slip, trip and even lose their grip, but this was the Youth Olympic Games, and finishing the race, no matter how far one fell behind, was the unspoken code of honor for the athletes who would one day compete in the Olympics. It was the second part of Day 9 of the YOG, which saw the athletics finals being held at the Bishan Stadium. It helped that while the bleachers were not completely full, the spectators were a gracious bunch, never failing to cheer on the last runner.
Highlights of the evening included the boys’ pole vault final, the girls’ triple jump final as well as the medley relay finals, with teams from the Americas sweeping both gold medals in the boys’ and girls’ races. One of the best performances came from Virginia Nyambura of Kenya, who won the 2,000-meter steeplechase in the fastest time of her career, 6 min. 29.97 sec.
Looking at the foreign names of the athletes, one could not help but wonder at the amount of practice the sports commentators had to undergo in order to avoid making the faux pas of mispronouncing an athlete’s name. Says Fan Yuzhen, one of the sports commentator for the evening, “Working alongside [local actor and former radio deejay] Mark Richmond since January this year, we’ve been practicing to make sure we got the names right.”
Having earlier commentated for a wrestling match, the CityCare staff member admits that the first few days were more intense, as workers and volunteers were fine-tuning their job scopes, with the site presentation manager finalizing details such as when an announcer would speak, when announcements were to be flashed on the LED board, as well as when music was to be cued. “It was a privilege to be part of a worldwide event like this,” says Fan. For those in the audience, the privilege was in witnessing future Olympian stars in action, on home ground no less.