BERLIN, GERMANY — A shining moment was experienced by Special Olympics (SO) Singapore as their athletes seized victory at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin.
Seventeen-year-old Irving Paul Tan and twenty-one-year-old Siti Nurhazimah Bte Hamzah took home gold and bronze medals respectively. These victories are a tremendous stride for Singapore and serve as a testament to the athletes’ dedication and hard work.
Irving Paul Tan emerged as a dominant force, beating competitors from six other nations in the 1500m men’s finals at the tracks, with a striking timing of 05:57:59. His win marks the first gold medal for Singapore in this year’s World Games. Notably, Irving was also the youngest competitor in his race.
His teammate, Siti Nurhazimah Bte Hamzah, demonstrated exceptional strength in her race, securing third place in the 1500m women’s finals with a timing of 07:27:41. Hazimah was also the youngest competitor in her event.
Commenting on the athletes’ triumphs, Mrs Linda Prebhash, Head of Delegation, noted, “They have trained long and hard for their moment on the world stage with the tireless guidance from their coaches and wonderful support from the staff from the Special Olympics Singapore office.”
Hazimah’s family, who were in Berlin to support her, expressed immense pride. Mdm Rosmawati Bte Rusli, Hazimah’s mother, said, “We are so proud of how Hazimah ran her race – she really did her best! Every athlete is a winner here. Their hardwork and determination is so amazing to watch.”
Moreover, other members of the SO Singapore team also delivered commendable performances. Tham Kar Soon, 41, the delegation’s oldest athlete, secured a respectable 5th placement in the Bocce men’s singles event. Bowlers Abbas Ahmad and Lin Zhaoyong, both 19 years old, clinched 4th place in the Bowling men’s doubles finals.
Dignitaries from Singapore, including Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law, and Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth, were present as Honoured Guests at the event.
The Special Olympics World Summer Games is the most significant international sporting event held for athletes with intellectual disabilities.
With 26 sports, this event sees participation from 190 nations and over 7,000 athletes. Its mission is to increase social inclusion and recognition of people with intellectual disabilities in society.