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Singapore Athletics' new chief Lien: Time for action, no more talk

They are named Team Ground Up, and they aim to hit the ground running after winning Singapore Athletics' (SA) election on Friday (Sept 25).

Led by Gojek Singapore general manager Lien Choong Luen, Team Ground Up's entire nine-member slate was voted into the management committee at SA's annual general meeting at the Nexus Auditorium at Cuppage Plaza.

Lien, 43, defeated TeamSGP Athletics' veteran lawyer Edmond Pereira 14-3. Pereira, 70, had also lost three previous SA elections, most recently in 2016.  

Speaking after his victory, Lien said it is time to put those plans that they had outlined to the affiliates into action.

“We are really humbled and very grateful for the trust placed in us by the affiliates,” Lien said on SA's website. “And now really, what I’ve said to the team is it’s time to get to work to put into place the plans that we’ve outlined. It’s all action, no more talk.”

Lien, who pledged to run the association with transparency and accountability, is under no illusions about the task ahead. The track and field body has been mired in controversy in recent years.

It is currently embroiled in legal proceedings with two-time SEA Games marathon gold medallist Soh Rui Yong over comments made regarding his omission from the 2019 SEA Games.

After the biennial Games in the Philippines last December, SA was chided by national sports agency Sport Singapore for internal discord, with three coaches resigning soon after. It was the first time Singapore had failed to win a gold medal at the biennial meet since 1991.

Ahead of the election, Lien had told SA’s 23 affiliates that the team have already secured $100,000 in donations to fund their plans.

Their plans include turning institutes of higher learning into regional training centres and additional carding to offer financial support for athletes at different levels.

Lien takes over from outgoing chief Tang Weng Fei, who was not seeking re-election after completing his third stint as SA president.

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