SINGAPORE: Former national hurdler Tang Weng Fei will serve his third stint as Singapore Athletics (SA) president, after the association elected its new management committee at its Annual General Meeting on Thursday (Oct 11).
Tang will be expected to lead the sport out of the doldrums after two years of controversy and poor performance under the previous leadership.
Tang’s immediate tasks are to rejuvenate the sport and quickly put its troubled past behind. He had put together a nine-member team to contest the polls at the Singapore Sports Hub, and they won all nine seats. SA statistician Peter Back is the only person outside of Tang’s camp to take part in the elections, but he failed in his bid.
"The pressing issue would be to restore the funding," Tang said. "I have to work very closely with our partners, SportSG and SNOC (Singapore National Olympic Council). Once we get that, we have to review the current policies, see whether we need to change some of these immediately."
Tang also said that the new committee will have to restore confidence and relationships among stakeholders here and abroad, and to make the sport as marketable as other sports like swimming and table tennis.
The nine elected members have already decided on their positions.
Assisting Tang will be three vice-presidents – Colonel Malik Aljunied, S Govindaraju and former national sprinter Poh Seng Song. Former swimmer Ang Peng Siong will be the honorary secretary.
Tang served two stints as president from 2004 to 2006, and from 2010 to 2016, before Ho Mun Cheong replaced him later that year.
Ho’s reign was plagued by controversies.
Just before the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, a dispute between officials saw Singapore’s top female sprinter Shanti Pereira threaten to quit the 4x100m relay team.
A WhatsApp conversation that exposed the politics and disagreement between different camps within the association was also leaked.