SINGAPORE: Singapore celebrated the crowning of two new world champions as the wushu contingent brought home a new record medal haul, winning two gold, four silver, and two bronze medals at the 16th World Wushu Championships held in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, from Nov 16 to 20 Nov 2023. The two gold medallists are Zeanne Law Zhi Ning in the women’s Taijiquan, and Jowen Lim Si Wei in the men’s Gunshu category.

In addition to his gold medal in the Gunshu event, Lim also secured a silver medal in the Daoshu category. The remaining silver medal for Singapore came from Tay Yu Xuan (men’s Taijijian), Kimberly Ong (women’s Gunshu), and the women’s Duilian from the Ong, Law and Zoe Tan Ziyi trio. The bronze medallists are Ong (Changquan) and Vera Tan (women’s Changquan).

“All eight athletes have fought hard and done well, with two of them being crowned new World Wushu Champions. All of them had also obtained admission tickets to the Taolu World Cup 2024 in Tokyo, Japan,” mentioned the Singapore Wushu Dragon and Lion Dance Federation in a social media posting.

It was an improved performance by the Singapore contingent, as they only won one bronze medal and two bronze medals in the 2017 and 2019 competitions, respectively. Lim contributed the medals, winning in the Daoshu (2017 and 2019) and Gunshu (2019) events.

Photo credit: Singapore Wushu Dragon and Lion Dance Federation

Prior to the 2023 championships, Singapore had only won a total of four gold medals. The first was won by Vincent Ng in 1995 in the Daoshu event. The trio of Emily Sin, Tay Yu Juan and Tao Yi Jun clinched Singapore’s second gold medal in the Duilian event 2011. Ho Lin Ying (Taijiquan) and Tan Xiang Tian (Xingyiquan) won Singapore’s third and fourth gold medals in 2013 and 2015, respectively.

The Singapore national wushu team’s outstanding performance captured the attention of Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth, who commended the athletes’ unwavering dedication and sporting excellence to achieve success on the international stage.

“In a remarkable display of skill and determination, young Singaporean wushu athlete Zeanne Law emerged victorious at the 16th World Wushu Championships in Texas, USA. Topping a formidable 13-strong field, the 18-year-old secured the coveted women’s taijiquan title, etching her name as a world champion,” said Minister Tong in a Facebook posting.

“The triumph adds to Singapore’s success at the prestigious event, with Jowen Lim also contributing to our medal haul. Jowen’s impressive performance in the Gunshu event to claim the gold demonstrated his determination and resilience after only securing a silver in the earlier Daoshu event.”

Minister Tong added that the wushu athletes; “demonstrated not only skill but also resilience, overcoming challenges such as a 14-hour time difference and lower temperatures. Many of them, with the support of SportSG, are juggling multiple roles, pursuing undergraduate studies in the fields of business (Jowen), communications (Yu Xuan) and law (Kimberly).”

Law debuted her SEA Games at the 31st edition, showcasing her talent with respectable fourth and sixth-place finishes in the Taijiquan and Taijijian events. In her subsequent SEA Games appearance in 2023, held in Cambodia, the 18-year-old secured a bronze medal in the Duilian event, partnering with her Team Singapore teammates Ong and Zoe.

As for 24-year-old Lim, Singapore’s other gold medalist at the World Wushu Championships, he is a multiple SEA Games medallist. His impressive collection includes four gold and four silver medals. He first won his SEA Games gold medal 2015 in the Weapons Duilian category. His other three gold medals came from the Changquan (2017) and Daoshu/Gunshu (2017, 2023) events.