Above: Jeralyn Tan Yee Ting (left) with coach and competition partner, Yurnita Omar (right)
(Image credit: Singapore Disability Sports Council)
Singapore boccia player Jeralyn Tan Yee Ting, together with coach and competition partner Yurnita Omar, ended their last game in the BC1 Female Individual event at the Póvoa de Varzim 2023 World Boccia Cup today, with an emotional 4-2 win over current world ranked number one player, Andreza Vitória De Oliveira from Brazil.
Jeralyn kicked off her match with a narrow win in Round 1, ending 3-2 against Israel’s Bat-El Brightman-Ha-cohen, which gave her a BYE for Round 2. Bracing herself for Round 3, Jeralyn then pulled a strong margin, winning 9-3 against Spain’s Amagoia Arrieta. The semi-finals turned out to be yet another close shave against Argentina’s Ailen Flores, with a 3-2 win, before Jeralyn entered the finals to face off one of her strongest opponents, De Oliveira, who is currently world ranked number 1 and was World Champion in the BC1 Female Individuals category at the Rio de Janeiro 2022 World Boccia Championships.
Digging her heels in, Jeralyn won a beautiful game against De Oliveira, ending 4-2 to snap up the gold. The win marks Jeralyn’s second World Cup title this year, the first at Montreal 2023 World Boccia Cup held in April, but euphoria of the win over the strong De Oliveira was evident.
“Flying across the other side of the world to compete and represent and make Singapore proud was our goal, so we are over the moon! The days get tougher each day but we take one ball, one day at a time, and we’d like to thank everyone who has been supporting us,” said Jeralyn and Yurnita, after the win.
Jeralyn started playing boccia, a Paralympic sport designed for persons with severe physical impairment, in 2008 as a student at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS) School. Over the years, Jeralyn has represented Singapore at various major games, beginning from the first Asian Para Games held in 2010, and only got her breakthrough in 2021, when she won a gold medal at the Fazza Dubai 2021 World Boccia Asia-Oceania Regional Championships, and secured her first World Championships debut at the Rio de Janeiro 2022 World Boccia Championships. She is currently the only BC1 female national boccia athlete in Singapore.
“Many wins are celebrated for that brief moment, but they have taken someone years of dedication to get there. This is the same for any athlete, with or without disability. We hope more people will understand that and come forward to lend a hand to this long, unglamourous but very important journey,” said Kelly Fan, Executive Director of the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC).
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