Our Team Singapore athletes stepped up to perform on the world stage and were duly rewarded for their efforts at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Incheon 2014 Asian Games MAP Awards Ceremony and Appreciation Dinner on Tuesday.

Held at the Pan Pacific Hotel, the night saw Team Singapore medallists at both Games receive a total of $3.44 million, awarded by SNOC, Tote Board and Singapore Pools.

Led by Chef de Mission Low Teo Ping, Team Singapore won a total of eight Gold, five Silver and four Bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

The contingent of 70 athletes competed in seven sports and took home 17 medals, two Games records, and seven national records and personal bests. A total of 24 medallists received $560,000 for their medal winning performances. They also received personalised gifts from Minister Tan Chuan-Jin and Minister Lawrence Wong for their efforts in the Games.

Closer to home at the Asian Games in South Korea, led by Chef de Mission Jessie Phua, Team Singapore delivered 24 medals of five Gold, six Silver and 13 Bronze medals. Two games records, three national records and 13 personal bests were set.

Among the 223 athletes, 37 were awarded a total of $2.88 million for their success. On top of that, medallists and games record holders also received watches from Tissot, the official timekeeper of the 2014 Asian Games.

“You have all been an inspiration – give yourselves a pat on your backs for the hard work you have put in,” said Guest-of-Honour Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Manpower and President of the Singapore National Olympic Council.

“Congratulations on prevailing the adversities and soldiering on for Singapore. In seven months’ time, this is the same spirit we will need to succeed as a team at the 2015 SEA Games.

Like many Singaporeans, I am looking forward to be part of Team Singapore to support you all the way!”


(L to R) Asian Games CDM Mrs Jessie Phua, Minister Lawrence Wong, Team Singapore Bowlers Joey Yeo, Jazreel Tan, New Hui Fen and Shayna Ng, Minister Tan Chuan-Jin and Mr Fong Yong Kian (Photo by Sport Singapore)

Bowler Jazreel Tan, who missed the 2006 Asian Games selection and returned home empty-handed in 2010, became the most bemedalled Singaporean at the 2014 edition in Incheon after winning four medals – one Gold, two Silver and one Bronze.

Tan was overjoyed to be recognised for her efforts and credited her coach, former Team Singapore bowler, Remy Ong as one of the reasons for her improved performance.

“It feels pretty amazing to receive this amount of money which you don’t usually win in a tournament. MAP is both good for me and the (Bowling) federation for future training and tournaments,” said Tan.

“I’m very thankful for Remy, because as a former bowler who only just recently retired, he understands how we feel. It’s fun to have a coach who plays with us by setting challenges for us to achieve.

He was my teammate for eight years and now he’s my coach. Sometimes I want to kill him, but yeah, he has helped me to improve a lot.”

For Team Singapore shooter Jasmine Ser, receiving a special award for breaking her personal best, Asian Games and National record at the 2014 Asian Games on top of the MAP prize is a motivation for her to work harder.

“I think it is very heart warming to receive these awards because they (SNOC) know how much effort I have put in, and I feel appreciated for that,” Ser explained.

“To break the Asian Games’ record is not an everyday thing and to break it once in four years is even more special. So tonight I’m happy to be recognised for my efforts, but I have much more to improve on.”

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Instead of the bowling alley, Jazreel Tan could’ve actually been winning medals for Team Singapore in the swimming pool.

Unknown to many, the current skipper of Team Singapore’s women’s bowling team made her foray into competitive sports with swimming, winning several age group medals, and was even poised to represent the nation.

However, as Tan reveals, air conditioning turned out to be the deal breaker.

Says the 25-year-old: “Actually, I started out as a swimmer. My brother and I used to go to the Singapore Swimming Club every week. We were pretty serious swimmers but one day my brother decided to quit. And every time I was at swim training he would just be at the bowling alley next door, enjoying the air conditioning. And all he had to do was throw some balls!”

But what started out as a frivolous excuse to escape the tough swim sessions soon turned into a real passion.

“At first it was the air conditioning that made me change my mind,” says Tan with a laugh.

“However, I soon started to really get interested in the intricacies of the sport. There are so many things that you cannot see. It’s very interesting to be able to make decisions and strategise on how to play the lanes. It’s about watching other people play and how your ball reacts to the lane. Like in golf, factors like how thick the grass is plays a part in the game – it’s the same for bowling, just not so apparent. It’s a lot about judgement,” she adds.

Having gained strength and fitness from her swim training, Tan, who was then just six-years-old, found it easy to pick up bowling as the weight of the ball proved to be no problem. She possessed a natural flair for the sport, and she promptly made the bowling team at Methodist Girls School (MGS).

Her time at MGS came to a halt after only three years, when her parents ‘engineered’ a move for her to the Singapore Sports School, in an attempt to hone her bowling prowess. It was also difficult for Tan to participate in competitions because of the conventional system the school had – she did not manage to travel for tournaments during her first year with the team.

“I didn’t like the idea at first because I had already been in MGS for three years, and to change schools was so disruptive. But my parents kind of dragged me into Sports School. Looking back, I guess that was one of the best decisions because I managed to improve a lot,” she says.

Tan continued her education in the Sports School with the two-year diploma programme, following which she left the country to study at Wichita State University, an esteemed institution in the United States renowned for its excellent bowling programme.

Team Singapore's Jazreel Tan celebrates after winning the silver medal in the Women's Singles final (Photo by Vivek Prakash / Sport Singapore)

Team Singapore’s Jazreel Tan celebrates after winning the silver medal in the Women’s Singles final (Photo by Vivek Prakash / Sport Singapore)

But while the move to study in Wichita State University exposed her to a high level of competitive action, and in turn groomed her to become the bowler she is today, Tan says the she also grew as an individual. In fact, she claims that “having survived in the U.S. for four years and learning to become independent is my greatest achievement in life thus far.”

A self-confessed introvert, Tan has no qualms, even till today, with cooping herself at home. She says that she’s very much a “zhai nu” (female geek or otaku) who once found it difficult to initiate conversations with people she wasn’t familiar with, and that she mostly conversed exclusively with close friends.

“I was very different back then (before she went to the United States). I think the overseas experience really changed me as a person. It forced me to grow up and made me more independent. I used to hate talking to people who aren’t my friends, but being there it helped that aspect,” she shares.

Even though she was in a different country, Tan would frequently make the headlines back in Singapore with her bowling feats. She was named United States Collegiate Bowler of the Year for three consecutive seasons (2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13), along with several other accolades. Despite the onset of fame, Tan was surprisingly grounded, and she reckons that part of it had to do with her taciturn nature.

When asked how she managed to excel on both the sporting and academic fronts, Tan is surprisingly humble. She merely shrugs and flashes a smile before providing some comic relief: “I don’t know. I mean, I wasn’t that good of a student in primary school, secondary school and during my diploma programme. Maybe being the Asian that I am, I was naturally hardworking!”

The truth, though, was that the university had a holistic education system in place that did not allow students to compete in their respective sports if they had not reached stipulated benchmarks.

“If I didn’t achieve a certain score, I wouldn’t be able to bowl, so I worked hard on school work. I really wanted to bowl,” she reveals.


Team Singapore’s Jazreel Tan in action during the Women’s Trios 1st block (Photo by Vivek Prakash / Sport Singapore)


She may have started bowling from as early as five-years-old and has earned numerous gongs at the annual Singapore Sports Awards, such as five Team Meritorious Awards and an individual one, as well as getting named Sportsgirl of the Year twice in a row (2008, 2009), but Tan is still determined to succeed on the bowling lane, though she also does concede that she does feel weary at times.

“Bowling makes me happy. I really enjoy the competitive atmosphere. I mean, there are a lot of times when I get sick of bowling but I realised that if I actually do feel that way, it means that I still care for the sport. And I think that’s very important, because the day I feel nothing for bowling is the day I think I should quit,” she says.

It doesn’t seem likely that Tan is going to quit anytime soon – she reveals that she will be bowling fulltime for the foreseeable future – at least not until she has attained her ultimate goal of winning an individual Gold medal.

She adds: “Right now I just want to win more tournaments and get that number one tag. I would love to be able to win an individual Gold medal at any competition. I’m still really passionate about the sport and not reaching that ultimate target is what’s pushing me now.”

With regard to life after bowling, Tan says that she would likely explore her options in the sporting events and management field. Her parents, who are self-employed, did offer her an option of managing a family-run café or restaurant, but Tan is hopeful of putting what she studied in university – Sports Management – to good use.

“I’ve interned in a few event companies before and I really love sports, so I might go down that route. I don’t want a nine-to-five office job,” she says.

Team The Women's Team of five with their gold medals (Photo by Vivek Prakash / Sport Singapore)

Team The Women’s Team of five with their gold medals (Photo by Vivek Prakash / Sport Singapore)

Tan doesn’t seem to smile much in public. While her teammates joked among one another following their Gold medal win in the Women’s Team competition, Tan was spotted sitting alone on the bench, going through social media feeds on her mobile phone.

Having bagged Gold in the Women’s Team event, two Silvers – one from the Singles competition and another from the Women’s Trios – and a Bronze in the Individual All Round contest, Tan is the most bemedalled athlete from Singapore in this latest edition of the Asiad.

Yet, when asked how she felt about her latest accomplishment, Tan draws a deadpan face and goes, “Isn’t it Joseph Schooling? Oh. It’s me? Really? Cool.”

But while she may seem disinterested to most things, to call Tan an emotionless athlete would be far from the truth. Anyone who has watched Tan on the bowling lanes would tell you she is wildly passionate about her sport. She marks each strike with a cheer, then walks back to her teammates, high-fiving everyone with an athletic bravado. And if one is lucky enough, he might just be able to spot Tan pouting after failing to get a strike, or flash a rare smile when she does. These moments betray her apparent indifference, and as it turns out, she isn’t as aloof as she seems – one just needs to hit the right button.

And that button happens to be K-pop.

Tan instantly lights up when Korean pop bands like 21NE and Big Bang are injected into the conversation. For a 25-year-old bowling superstar who boasts having a slew of accolades under her belt, Tan displays an enchanting adolescence for someone of her status. She squeals like a teenager when talking about her favourite acts, before adding that she’s planning to catch the YG Family concert in Macau later this month.

But as fanatical as she is about her K-pop stars, the likes of G-Dragon or Rain have no place in heart as a source of inspiration. Instead, her idol is Filipino bowling legend Engelberto BiboyRivera.

“He’s 40-years-old now and he’s been at the top level of competitive bowling for over 20 years. That takes a lot of discipline. To be able to be at the top of your game at such an age is commendable, plus, he’s so down to earth, and that’s a very important thing,” Tan says, with a reverent tone.

She adds: “For many people, when they get to a certain level of fame, they tend to fall into the trap where they get a little egoistic. For Biboy, however, he sets a very good example – though he has won so many awards he’s still willing to grind it out on the lanes and try to improve himself every day.

“I hope I can be like him someday, you know, to inspire others.”

And that is arguably an ironic statement – for unbeknownst to her, Tan, with her four medals and girlish charm, has already inspired a nation.

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The Asian Games is the region’s most contested sporting event…the regional Olympics, if you like. This year sees the Asian Games in its 17th edition and held in Incheon, Korea. The games consists of sports across 36 disciplines, such as Cricket and Karate, and a total of 45 member of the Olympic Council of Asia are involved.

That includes Singapore, and of course the nation’s decorated bowling team led by Captain Jazreel Tan. Our national bowling team was represented by 6 men and 6 women, and you can view their profiles here.

Team photo at the official games venue

Team photo at the official games venue

Team photo at Changi Airport

Team photo at Changi Airport

Team photo on the lanes

Team photo on the lanes

Shiok! is proud to support #OurTeamSG, and very honoured to share this exclusive interview with Jazreel Tan who flew our Singapore flag high in Korea. (This interview took place during Day 4 of the Games, where Jazreel had won her first medal in Incheon.) In fact, Jazreel flew Singapore’s flag highest as she emerged from 2014 Incheon Asiad as Team Singapore’s most bemedalled athlete with 1 Gold, 2 Silvers and 1 Bronze!

It is Day 2 for bowling in Incheon, and the games are underway already. Shiok! is elated by Team Singapore’s performances so far and very happy for the bowling team who already clinched a Silver Medal for our country in their first round of games.

Our ambassador and Captain of Singapore Bowling, Jazreel Tan, is Singapore’s 2nd Silver Medallist at this games having just won 2nd place on the podium at today’s Singles Event. She scored a total pinfall of 1277 in 6 games, and shares the podium with Chinese Taipei’s Chou Chia Chen (1291 pinfalls for Gold) and home team’s Lee Na Young (1272 pinfalls for Bronze).

Elation for Jazreel and for Singapore

Elation for Jazreel and for Singapore

Podium finish for Jazreel Tan

Podium finish for Jazreel Tan

Jazreel is also a 2-time Singapore Sportsgirl of the Year and Singapore’s Goodwill Ambassador for the Incheon Asian Games 2014.

Captain in action

Captain in action

Thank you Jazreel for speaking with us all the way from the Athletes Village. Congratulations on an outstanding result for the Singles event! Please share with us your thoughts and emotions from today.

Where do I begin? Congratulations to Chia Chen who came in 1st. I am very thankful for all the support I have received! Foremost from my family, and wholly to the Singapore Bowling Federation, my past and present coaches and teammates, and all of my sponsors who believed in me.

The important thing now is to remain focused and thrive together with my teammates for the remaining events. This is just the first event, we still have a some way to go and want to achieve greater results for Team Singapore!

We are looking forward to the next weeks!

What is the atmosphere at this Games, and what is it like at the village?

The atmosphere is great! I love being in games as each meet brings international athletes from different sports together in one place. It goes without saying that there will be rivalry, but there’s also a shared special feeling of being part of something so great…All the sporting nations and athletes coming together for the love of sport.

The Athletes Village is also another unique experience. Here, you get to stay together with not only your teammates from your sport but also the other athletes from other sports from your country. It’s a feeling that’s difficult to describe. Representatives from every country are here and it’s just wonderful to be here and experience it.

Team gathering at the games

Team gathering at the games

That sounds like an incredible experience indeed. How is your team feeling thus far?

Our team is feeling good. We have been practicing really hard back home and gotten a lot better in terms of communication, team work and lane play. We will take it day by day and do our best.

WEFIE with Minister Tan

WEFIE with Minister Tan

WEFIE at Changi Airport

WEFIE at Changi Airport

Singapore has competed in ALL editions of the Asian Games since it was first held. How does it feel to be representing your country at this Asiad?

Having the opportunity to represent Singapore at any competition is a great honour. But it being the Asian games, one of the largest sporting meets in the region, if not the world, makes it even more special…And getting on the podium today is a dream come true!

Speaking of dreams…Do you dream of Singapore hosting the Asiad one day? What are your thoughts?

It would be awesome if Singapore could hold the Asian games one day! It might not be in the next few editions, but we are already hosting the SEA Games next year and I can’t wait for it.

It will definitely place more pressure on Team Singapore with us being the host country but on the other hand, we get the advantage of being on home soil and having the whole country with us supporting all the way.

We cannot wait for the Sea Games next year too!

Last year, you were appointed the Singapore Goodwill Ambassador for this Asian Games. What does it mean for you to be appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for this Asiad?

Appointment of Jazreel Tan as Singapore Goodwill Ambassador of Incheon Asian Games (From

Appointment of Jazreel Tan as Singapore Goodwill Ambassador of Incheon Asian Games (From

I am extremely honoured to be appointed as the Goodwill Ambassador for the Asian Games. I will do my best to promote the games and the sport to the best of my ability and I strive to be a good role model and ambassador for not only those who support me, but also those who support bowling, Team Singapore and Asia.

You journey frequently to other countries to represent Singapore at various competitions. What do you miss most about Singapore when you are abroad for tournaments, or even right now while you are in Incheon?

I do adapt pretty quickly but if I were to pick something, I must say I tend to miss of some of the awesome local food that we have back home such as Hokkien Mee, Orh Lua and my mom’s cooking!

You are making us hungry indeed!

You are a role model for many young Singaporeans aspiring to represent the nation at the highest level in Sports, and also an ambassador for Singapore in many ways. What is the most Shiok! thing about Singapore that you tell people overseas when they ask you?

FOOOOOOD! Definitely…And I would also describe how Singapore is really clean and recommend to them that our local night life scene is pretty vibrant too! Our city is incredibly pretty and alive at night!

Singapore is extremely proud of your achievements. What about Singapore makes you most proud of our country?

Although we are a small country, we have gone on to become one of world’s major commercial hubs. Also, in spite of what critics say about our country’s strict laws, the policies have undeniably helped us advance and develop to where we are today. Most importantly, I am proud of all Singaporeans young, old and new. Despite our country’s limited resources, the people have come together to help our nation survive and then thrive…and achieve all that we are today.

Do you have any message for all Shiok! readers and Singapore supporters back home cheering for the Asiad contingent?

We appreciate all the support from back home! You guys are awesome and shiok!

Thank you so much for your time Jazreel. We wish you and your team a great showing in Incheon and more success! 

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INCHEON: Bowler Jazreel Tan clinched the Singapore’s second silver on Wednesday (Sep 24), after bowling a total of 1,277 pins in the Women’s Singles competition.

Tan was just 14 pins shy of eventual champion Taiwan’s Chou Chia Chen, who bowled a total of 1,291. Compatriot New Hui Fen also missed out on a podium finish by one pin, coming in fourth behind bronze medallist Lee Na Young from South Korea.

Daphne Tan also came in the top 10, finishing ninth with 1,239 pins, according to the results table by the Singapore Bowling Federation.

Swimmer Tao Li on Monday clinched Singapore’s first silver in the women’s 50m butterfly final.


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Jazreel Tan (25 years old) who was appointed as the Incheon Asian Games (IAG) Goodwill Ambassador during the Asian Games Road Show that was held in Singapore on Sept. 26, 2013 took time off her busy training schedule to meet up with our IAG Reporter Zaher Wahab to share her thoughts about the upcoming 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

Her appointment as the IAG Goodwill Ambassador is also a testament of the close ties that Singapore and South Korea share in many areas including sports. Here is what transpired during the interview.

Q1: What is your personal target for this 17th Asian Games?

A: I am going for at least one medal – the Team Gold for Bowling. With tough competition from the South Koreans and Malaysians, it would be a good challenge and definitely memorable to win to the Team Gold. We have been training hard and we never give up!

Q2: How has your appointment as the Goodwill Ambassador of the 17th Incheon Asian Games affected you (in your personal or sporting life)?

A: To be honest, it has not affected me much. I have continued to train and work hard. In fact, as we approach the Games, gym and training sessions have been stepped up to keep us in optimal conditions to vie for the medals on offer. I believe in the motto of the IAG which is Diversity Shines Here from all around Asia. This is what is bringing us together in Incheon, South Korea on September 2014.

Q3: Who or what is the biggest motivation in your life?

A: My family, especially my parents have been my life’s biggest motivation. They have invested so much in my training and they have supported me throughout the process. I have been blessed with a supportive family that had been with me all the way!

Note: An alumnus of Singapore Sports’ School Jazreel was the recipient of a Singapore Sports Council (SSC) Scholarship which enabled her to study at Wichita State University. This enabled her to pursue her degree and bowl competitively in the United States of America.

Q4: What message do you have for your fans that have supported you all this time?

A: I want to thank them for their support and I hope they will continue to cheer for us all the way during the Incheon Asian Games.

At the end of the short interview, Jazreel wanted to share the following with the fans with the underlying message of never giving up.

We thank Jazreel Tan for taking the time for this interview.

Tune into the exciting world of bowling competition coming your way soon in 2014 Incheon Asian Games!

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The five 2013 All-American first-team players named by the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association: (from left) Jazreel Tan and Tannya Roumimper of Wichita State University, Katie Thornton of Webber International University, Amanda Greene of Lindenwood University and Caitlin Hoffman of Robert Morris-Illinois University. Tan’s next target is to win the women’s team championship for her college.

IN HER four years at Wichita State University in the United States, Singaporean bowler Jazreel Tan has earned nearly every accolade possible.

Now, the newly crowned Collegiate Bowler of the Year has created another piece of history: She is the first woman to win the award for the third year running.

The award, now in its 26th year, is given by the International Bowling Media Association.

Tan is also the second woman to be named on the All-American first team – given to the top five collegiate bowlers in the country – for four consecutive years, after Vicki Parker of Indiana State University (1983-1986).

But as far as the 23-year-old is concerned, “perfect” can still be more perfect.

She told The Straits Times in a phone interview from Lincoln, Nebraska where she is slated to compete in the women’s semi-finals of the Inter-collegiate Singles Championships: “I’m really humbled to have been recognised in a country that is not my own.

“But the team championship is the one that I really hope to win.”

Wichita State’s team, known as the Shockers, have the most accomplished collegiate bowling programme in the US, with a record 19 men’s and women’s national championships – but have gone the past four years without tasting glory.

Tan, a final-year sports management undergraduate and captain of the team, is hoping to change that this weekend in the team event as the perfect way to close out her collegiate career.

She said: “We’ve been close but have just fallen short the last four years. It’s been heart-breaking.”

The two-time Singapore Sportsgirl of the Year has been impressive on the collegiate circuit since her freshman year in 2009.

She won the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches’ Association’s Rookie of the Year award in 2010, following it up with a Most Valuable Player award the next year.

Off the lanes, she has also won three academic All-American awards, given to student-athletes with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on all course work.

Tan will return to Singapore next month after graduating.

She said: “It’s sad and I can’t believe how fast the last four years have gone by.

“I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I’ve done these past years without my team-mates and coaches.”

SingaporeBowling president Jessie Phua was delighted to hear the news of Tan’s latest achievement.

She said: “It is a most deserving and befitting recognition for one of our most talented and dedicated athletes.

“There’s no denying that every time we have a major Games, she’s the automatic choice for captain.

“College life in the US has done so much for her.

“It’s opened her up as a person and as an athlete she’s learnt so much more.”

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Singapore bowler Jazreel Tan (above) is the US' Collegiate Bowler of the Year for the third year running. She bagged the women's award, which is given annually by the International Bowling Media Association in the United States. -- PHOTO: SINGAPOREBOWLING

Singapore bowler Jazreel Tan is the US’ Collegiate Bowler of the Year for the third year running. She bagged the women’s award, which is given annually by the International Bowling Media Association in the United States.

The 23-year-old, a final-year sports management student at Wichita State University in Kansas, also earned a spot on the All-American first team for the fourth consecutive year, becoming just the second woman to achieve that feat.

Vicki Parker of Indiana State University was the first to accomplish that from 1983-1986.

Marshall Kent of Robert Morris-Illinois University won the men’s award.

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