Rollersports: Wet weather at National Championships won't rain on athletes' parade

SINGAPORE – Even as torrential rain forced the Rollersports Grand National Championships to a premature end on Sunday (Dec 27), the bad weather could not dampen the spirits of a community starved of competitive action for a year.

Muhammad Syafiq Tahar, winner of the roller freestyle/aggressive inline open category, was one of those affected as his event on Saturday was delayed by a day due to inclement weather at the Somerset Skate Park.

But the 34-year-old did not mind, saying: “I always try to participate in every competition there is and this is also good for the sport. It’s the end of the year so understandably, the weather isn’t so good.

“The organisers and judges did their best, so hopefully we’ll see more of such competitions.”

The security officer, who has been inline skating for over 20 years, amassed 70 points to finish ahead of Toby Williams and Marcus Png, who were second and third respectively on 64 points.

Although seven categories were completed over the weekend, the eighth event – the freestyle scooter international open pro -was called off on Sunday afternoon owing to wet weather.

Scooter athlete Nadir Mahmood was lucky as he was crowned winner of the open 11 to 18 years old category right before the downpour. The 14-year-old Tanglin Trust School student topped the field with 65 points, ahead of Huang Bin Bin (62) and Ryland Counsell (61) who were second and third respectively.

Competing in his first championship, Nadir said: “It feels good because I’ve never taken part in a competition before. I wasn’t trying to win, it was more of getting the experience of competing.”

While the monsoon season is not an ideal time to host outdoor events, Sonia Ong, organiser and chair of the Singapore Rollersports Federation’s Vision 2030 campaign, felt that it was important to stage this for freestyle scooter and aggressive inline skating as there has been a dearth of event this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “I sponsored this competition because these sports are under-served, underfunded and under the radar, hence it is necessary to give them a big push into the spotlight.”

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