ASEAN athletes and their favourite food

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

ASEAN sporting heroes live to eat too, and FOX Sports Asia brings you the best of what is on their plate.

If there is one thing that we Asians cannot resist, it will have to be food.

In fact, you can say that we love our food as much as we love our sports!

So, we thought why not combine both for your viewing pleasure?

Therefore, we scoured our beloved Asian sporting heroes‘ social media channels to see what they are eating.

Joseph Schooling

Singapore national swimmer Joseph Schooling made history last year by becoming his country’s first Olympic gold medallist.

7 to go! Thanks for the insane support everyone 🙂 #SeaGames2015 #swimming #OneTeamSG 📷: @adrianseetho

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With swimming taking the 22-year-old around the world, he is not afraid to try the local cuisine. No matter how super-sized it is.

Everything's bigger in Croatia

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Based in Texas, Schooling, who recently won four Southeast Asian (SEA) Games golds, is well versed in the language of American waffles and ice cream.

Nom Nom

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Sam “Little Frog” Tharoth

A pioneering female MMA fighter from Cambodia; Sam “Little Frog” Tharoth is skilled in the local marital arts called Bokator.

She has a 4-2 fight record – with all her four victories coming via submissions.

The 27-year-old certainly is a fan of ice cream – particularly Turkish ice cream.

And she believes sharing (food) is caring; distributing local rice bowls comprising of rice, omelette and sausages for charity!

Matthew Davies

As the youngest captain that his football club has ever had, Malaysian Matthew Davies is a rising right-back who ply his trade with Pahang FA.

back to Kuantan after a coupla days in Phuket #sunfinallycameout 🌤

A post shared by Matt Davies (@matttdavies) on

Being half-Australian, he knows a thing or two about coffee.

☕️

A post shared by Matt Davies (@matttdavies) on

melbs we out here ☕️

A post shared by Matt Davies (@matttdavies) on

The Australian-born Malaysian footballer, and former Perth Glory academy product, is crazy about everything brunch and poached eggs.

Happy 21st to mi love, couldnt be prouder of you. Many more birthdays to come together ❤️🎈 @jennavivian_

A post shared by Matt Davies (@matttdavies) on

And some sweet ice cream and churros to finish a meal off.

icecream with the main man brendan gan before we're off to Indonesia tomorrow 🍦#boyswhobrunch

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Mmmmm Jenna

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But he can’t turn down his favourite local dessert – ice kacang!

Well earned favourite malaysian dessert after lastnights comeback #icekacang

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And the Asian in him just can’t turn down sipping on fresh fruit juice around Asia.

selamat hari raya from vietnam 🇻🇳 #coconutsandcommunism

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melaka melon 🍉

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Or tucking into some fried Japanese yakisoba.

🍜🇯🇵

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But he still falls back on trusty satay (meat skewers)!

when you get your malay wrong and order 50 satay sticks instead of 15 #ohmybahasa

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Michelle Sng

After clinching a gold at this year’s SEA Games, Singapore athlete Michelle Sng became her nation’s first female high jumper in 52 years to do so.

Clearly the 30-year-old misses local food when aboard and joins her national team mates often for dinners featuring curry and soy chicken wings!

Despite being away for the Chinese New Year, Sng couldn’t resist making her own yu sheng (raw fish salad)!

She also have a soft spot for Nutella…

I must confess, I love eating Nutella out of a jar. Thanks @nutellasea! #yournutella

A post shared by Michelle Sng (@michsng) on

Irfan Bachdim

Operating mainly as a forward and winger, Dutch-born Indonesian footballer Irfan Bachdim turns out for club Bali United.

Bebop and Me!! #TeamBachdim #Travel #Thailand #Phuket #BebopDrone #SriPanwa

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The 28-year-old former Ajax academy product, having had a stint with Consadole Sapporo, is no doubt a fan of Japanese food – particularly donburi (rice bowls).

Dinner time!! 🍣 #ConsadoleSapporo

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And sushi. Duh.

Sushi time with @shotasakaki !! #TeamMate #Shota7 #Nagoyakatei #ConsadoleSapporo

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A bona fide movie star; Bachdim is also a fan of Japanese ramen.

R A M E N 🍜 🎌

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And the Tendangan Dari Langit star wouldn’t say no to dim sum.

Brothers!!

A post shared by Irfan Haarys Bachdim (@ibachdim) on

Angela Lee

Fighting for Evolve MMA gym, ONE Championship Women’s Atomweight champion Angela Lee is the youngest person to hold a MMA world title.

Moving to Hawaii when she was just eight, the 21-year-old has a firm grasp of the local food there.

She has no problems playing food guide to her “babe” – fellow Evolve MMA gym teammate Bruno Pucci.

And the foodie couple also enjoys eating as they travel.

Last night's candlelight dinner w/ my love 🕯❤️ #fonduefortwo

A post shared by Angela Lee (@angelaleemma) on

🍔+🍻+🍫 = ❤️ Burgers, Beers and Brigadeiro w/ my Italian Stallion 😘

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But we are sure that Asian cuisine has a special place in her heart. Particularly Korean!

But when she is back in Singapore, she enjoys Mod-Sin cuisine like coconut salmon with cinnamon pumpkin at Smor.

But who can turn down our now-famous hawker fare? Not Lee of course.

And she falls back on old school local sweet treats to satisfy her sweet tooth.

Than Paing

Hailing from Myanmar, 21-year-old Chin United striker Than Paing is THE Burmese footballer to watch!

Paing, who scored the goal that sent his country to their first FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2014, loves his local noodles.


But he and his team mates just can’t resist some KFC fried chicken once in a while.


Or why not both?

Veronica Pereira

Despite her two SEA Games bronze medals, Singapore track star Veronica Pereira will have every reason to be upset at losing her 200m final SEA Games crown.

☀️🌴 Beach Day 🌴☀️ #SASSingUpIndo

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But clearly even a 20-year-old sprinter need a cuppa to get going in the morning.

That is one huge mug ☕️

A post shared by Veronica Shanti Pereira ☀️ (@v_shantipereira) on

🎅🏻☕️

A post shared by Veronica Shanti Pereira ☀️ (@v_shantipereira) on

Like in most other Asian countries, nothing hits the spot like a steamboat dinner.

Steamboat goodness at home for mama's bday!

A post shared by Veronica Shanti Pereira ☀️ (@v_shantipereira) on

And she adores her local wanton dumpling noodles.

Finally some Fei Fei 😋 #shanandchui

A post shared by Veronica Shanti Pereira ☀️ (@v_shantipereira) on

Pereira, ever the foodie, is open to trying other Asian cuisines on her travels.

😋😋

A post shared by Veronica Shanti Pereira ☀️ (@v_shantipereira) on

When in Bangkok…

What's BKK without some After You 💁🏾 #snctravels #shanandchui

A post shared by Veronica Shanti Pereira ☀️ (@v_shantipereira) on

She might be a coffee type of girl, but she does tea as well – teh botol!

Thierry Chantha Bin

Born in Paris to Cambodian parents, Thierry Chantha Bin is a footballer who is on loan at Electricite du Cambodge, from parent Thai League 2 club Krabi FC.

A post shared by Thierry Chantha Bin (@thierrychanthabin) on

The 26-year-old midfielder, who scored on his national team debut against Macau, loves going on food outings with his colleagues.

Happy Chinese new year everybody ❤🐷❤

A post shared by Thierry Chantha Bin (@thierrychanthabin) on

Whether be it for Thai food with his Krabi FC team mates…

After training with the team mate 🐷✌🙏

A post shared by Thierry Chantha Bin (@thierrychanthabin) on

Birthday party with the team ❤👑🐷 #krabi #happy #team #birthday #cambodia #Thailand

A post shared by Thierry Chantha Bin (@thierrychanthabin) on

Or Cambodian food with his national team mates.

#TEAM #SELFIE 🙋⚽💪🍴 #lunch #myanmar #cambodia #football #aseanfootballfederation #cambodiafc #khmer #phnompenh

A post shared by Thierry Chantha Bin (@thierrychanthabin) on

It seems to be his time-honored tradition that stretches back to his Phnom Penh Crown days.

Lunch with teammates today! ⚽🍴💪 #cambodia #football #cambodiafc #phnompenh #kampuchea #khmerfrench #love

A post shared by Thierry Chantha Bin (@thierrychanthabin) on

In any case, he wouldn’t say no to comfort Cambodian food.

Healthy fix before heading to training with the national team! ⚽💪🍳 #cambodia #football #aminoacids #helixbcaa protein_bkk1

A post shared by Thierry Chantha Bin (@thierrychanthabin) on

yes 😄😄😄😄😄

A post shared by Thierry Chantha Bin (@thierrychanthabin) on

He loves his fresh fruit juices…

was so hot today!!! @juicymercy saving my life 😥⚽💪

A post shared by Thierry Chantha Bin (@thierrychanthabin) on

Thank you @juicymercy for the perfect boost before the match tonight! 🤗⚽💪 #cambodia #football

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And absolutely adores poutine.

Soh Rui Yong

As the most prominent Singapore marathoner, Soh Rui Yong is the pride and joy of Team Singapore’s track and field team.

The 27-year-old two-time SEA Games gold medallist is partial to the local breakfast staple fried carrot cake!

Clearly, he likes it black (dark soy sauced).

Didn't try to pay with credit card this time. ✅ #progress #singaporebreakfast

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Despite being based in the US, the man is Singaporean through and through, and clearly appreciates his cai png (mixed dish rice).

Clearly, you can take the Singaporean out of Singapore.

But you can’t take the bak chor mee (minced meat noodles) out of the Singaporean.

@mrspeedtastic 's first time at Old Airport Rd. #Legend #SingaporeAthletics

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The current national 10000m national record holder also have a soft spot for Peranakan (Straits Chinese) food.

The Brat, the Model Student, and the Boss. #RafflesCrossCountry

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And though he is training to become Singapore’s first Olympic marathoner, he cannot resist the local supper fare, roti prata (fried Indian shortbread).

Tristan Somachai Do

Turning out for Muangthong United, Thai-French footballer Tristan Somachai Do was actually eligible to play for three national teams (Thailand, Vietnam and France).

Let's face the new week 😏 Cr. @oad.ari

A post shared by Tristan Do (@tristando19) on

Being French on his mother’s side, the 24-year-old right-back is familiar with French bistro fare.

Dinner with the cousins at "L'Endroit" 👫👫🍽 #france #holidays #paris #family #food ☺️

A post shared by Tristan Do (@tristando19) on

As well as homely French Christmas treats.

Santa brought me the best gift ever this year, family ☺️🙏🏻 Merci Pere Noel ❤️

A post shared by Tristan Do (@tristando19) on

Like all good French folks, he knows his way in the kitchen.

Finding food for lunch 🤔❄️😌 Cr. @yohann.do #bonappetit #kissfromfrance 😚

A post shared by Tristan Do (@tristando19) on

Luong Xuan Truong

As the first Vietnamese to play in the K-League Classic, it should be no surprise to learn that footballer Luong Xuan Truong is also the national side captain!

In his spare time, the 22-year-old midfielder, who is currently on loan at Gangwon FC, kicks back with his friends over a traditional Vietnamese BBQ – complete with salad and cold ones.

Quá tuyệt vời cho một chuyến đi 🙌🏻

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Lạnh quá lạnh quá 😁

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And the former Arsenal JMG Academy product wouldn’t turn down some freshly braised chicken feet.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Yeaaaaaaaaaar 🎅🎄🎊

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Like all his countrymen, he enjoys a good cuppa. Anywhere in the world.

A post shared by Híp Híp (@truongplayboy) on

And the legendary local street treats as well.

#HNY2017

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Not forgetting the iconic pho.

"Anh xin lỗi mà, sao em lại đá anh chứ ??? Anh cạo cả đầu để xin lỗi em luôn này" 😓

A post shared by Híp Híp (@truongplayboy) on

Or just a hearty local soup like how mama would make it.

Đói quáaaaaa 😱 Thèm bánh tômmmmmmm 😓

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Though known for vision, passing and free-kick abilities, Luong probably also knows how to cook as well as his mama.

Hè về là phải hành Mẹ và Chị gái làm bánh trôi 🙏🙏🙏 Ngon dã mannnnn ☺️☺️☺️

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But his Korean stint has given him a new appreciation for the food.

Seems like I got the ocean in this Ramen 🍜

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Mọi người ăn tối ngon miệng nhé ^^ #Songdo

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Phil Younghusband

Easily the most recognisable footballer in the Philippines, Phil Younghusband is a English-born Filipino forward with Davao Aguilas FC.

Splashing the cash, the 30-year-old former Chelsea trainee brought his Filipino-Spanish model girlfriend to the world class restaurant Indigo!

And with family, the right-footed footballer opts for good old English comfort food.

Great first night back in England. Cottage Pie, Tea & Biscuits with my 2nd family #staines #hometown #family #friends

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Sooooo busog! Cup of tea and biscwuit for dessert. Sarap! #taglish #britnoy #pinglish #proudpinoy

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But the self-professed Titanic movie fan knows how to indulge his Filipino tastebuds as well.

Just arrived here in Kuya J Pampanga. Looking forward to the food! 😋

A post shared by Phil Younghusband (@philyounghusband10) on

Look at what Kuya J prepared for everyone! Visit him now in SM City Bacolod! @jimboyh007 @kuyajresto #kuyaj #smbacolod

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You don't wanna miss Kuya's special cooking. Visit him now in SM City Bacolod! @jimboyh007 @kuyajresto #kuyaj #smbacolod

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Grilled Scallops at Kuya J w/ Kuya @jimboyh007! Visit Kuya J SM City Bacolod right now & try it! @KuyaJResto #KuyaJ #SMCityBacolod

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FOX Sports Asia Features: The Justice League (of Sports)

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

Just as the Justice League can be considered as the United Nations of superheroes, we scour the globe to bring you the best team of athletes that the world has ever seen.

Not all heroes wear capes or their underwear on the outside.

In fact, anyone who excel in their chosen field and inspire others can be considered a hero.

With that in mind, we decided to celebrate our own personal sporting heroes and create FOX Sports Asia’s own Justice League!

(Sporting) Heroes Unite!

Pep Guardiola is Batman/Bruce Wayne

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As the unofficial leader of the pack, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is more than qualified to be world’s greatest detective, the Batman.

Having led City to the top of the EPL table this season, Guardiola has proven his leadership skills as well as his analytical mind – masterminding victories over Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.

via GIPHY

And we know already that the Spanish manager was the “Dark Knight” of the Barcelona side in the early 90s’. The ex-Barcelona man was a no-nonsense defensive midfielder who won six La Liga titles.

Sam “Little Frog” Tharoth is Wonder Woman/Diana Prince

via GIPHY

While she is not from the exotic land of Themyscira, Cambodia’s leading female MMA fighter Sam “Little Frog” Tharoth is every bit the ground breaking hero that Wonder Woman is.

Earning her nickname due to her fondness for the popular local snack, the submission specialist is no slouch in the ring having registered four wins and smashing age-old female stereotypes in a patriarchal country.

Besides MMA, the 27-year-old is also an actress – making her a master of disguise just like Diana.

Christian Coleman is The Flash/Barry Allen

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In keeping with the youthful tone of the Flash, we decided to skip naming now-retired Usain Bolt in place for rising American sprinter Christian Coleman.

The 21-year-old American recently beat Bolt at the IAAF World Championship 2017 – winning the 100-metre in 9.94 seconds for the silver. His personal 100-metre best of 9.82 seconds came in the NCAA Track and Field Championship this year.

And though he isn’t running fast enough to time travel like the Flash, the fourth-fastest American of all time seems to be well on the path to greatness!

Joseph Schooling is Aquaman/Arthur Curry

via GIPHY

Another up-and-coming star; Singaporean swimmer Joseph Schooling has the world in his hands after winning his country’s maiden Olympic gold medal and beating idol Michael “Flying Fish” Phelps in the process.

Much like the fabled Prince of Atlantis, Aquaman, the 22-year-old Schooling shows great potential in the water; having amassed six golds at this year’s Southeast Asia (SEA) Games and broke four records along the way.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Cyborg/Victor Stone

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Seemingly forever young, Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is every bit as ageless as the cybernetic hero Cyborg.

Ever at 36 years of age, the Swedish footballer shows no signs of slowing down – using his well-oiled joints to score a staggering 28 goals last season.

The 2013 FIFA Puskas Goal of the Year winner also boast a genius-like level of intelligence on the pitch – scoring a delicious back heel against Italy at Euro 2004.

Special appearance by Eddie “The Beast” Hall as Superman/Clark Kent

While he might not be a man of steel, British strongman Eddie Hall is the closest thing that we have to Superman.

Went to see my pal Lewis in Birmingham children's hospital today, what an absolute pleasure and what a soldier he is… Going through what only can be described as hell and the most awesome, handsome, Whitty little lad Iv ever met not phased at all. Told him he's got to eat lots of food to get big and strong! Check out his journey and say a prayer for Lewis and his family. Iv got two kids and I couldn't imagine what this situation would do to me but the parents are being very brave and positive about everything. And the best thing I heard was that the support they're getting has been amazing…. Look forward to seeing Lewis at the Giants live world final VIP style in September. Thank you so much guys click on the link to check out his page. Lewis loves checking his FB page so please share and like the page and make team Lewis the biggest and best team there is. Thank you! https://www.facebook.com/followteamlewis/ Big Love ❤️ Team Beast and Team Lewis @proteindynamix @xploape @strengthasylum @alphadesignsuk @bobosbeard @blakemans @wrightspies @pulseworldwide @getnewage @sbdapparel @giantslive #alphadesign #wrightspies #strengthasylum #giants #giantslive #proteindynamix #bobosbeardoil #beast #beard #deadlift #deadlifts #boss #bosslife #hulk #strong #strongman #strongmantraining #pulse #getnewage #performance #mouthguard #SBD #supports #SBDapparel

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The 2017 World’s Strongest Man winner is the only man alive able to deadlift 500kg – which is the current world record.

Although there is no chance of Hall possessing laser vision, The Beast can still pulverise enemies with his two huge guns – two bulging biceps that also gained him the world record for axle press (216kg).

Top 10 richest sportswomen of 2017

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

FOX Sports Asia puts together the ten richest sportswomen for 2017.

In a year where the top 100 sports athletes earned a combined US$3.1 billion, it is clear that sports mean big money.

While beloved Real Madrid and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo ran away with US$93 million for himself, there was still plenty of cash to go around.

But, it isn’t just the men that are seated at the money table. The ladies, with the aid of lucrative corporate partnerships, are no slouch as well.

So who are these big sportswomen ballers? Let’s find out who made it rain green all throughout the year…

10. Simona Halep

Total Earnings: US$6.2 million

Prize Money: US$4.7 million

Despite losing her second French Open final, world number one Simona Halep is still the tenth highest-earning female athlete for the year.

Not only did she spend the most consecutive weeks in the top ten rankings, she also managed to sign a deal with Mercedes-Benz Romania in 2017.

9. Eugenie Bouchard

Total Earnings: US$7.1 million

Prize Money: US$0.6 million

Although she spent much of 2017 languishing in the 70s on the women ranking, Eugenie Bouchard is still easily one of the most marketable tennis player. She appeared in this year Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue.

💚💚💚 @si_swimsuit

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The 23-year-old Canadian added Colgate to her ever-growing list of sponsors, which includes Nike, Coca-Cola, Rogers and Aviva.

8. Agnieszka Radwanska

Total Earnings: US$ 7.3 million

Prize Money: US$3.3 million

Affectionately nicknamed “The Professor”, Polish tennis ace Agnieszka Radwanska managed to secure new deals with Srixon, Polish oil firm Lotos and cosmetic company Inglot despite dropping out of the top three.

🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵

A post shared by Aga Radwanska (@aradwanska) on

The 28-year-old has amassed US$26.5 million in prize money – the fifth highest of all time!

🏆🏆🏆🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳

A post shared by Aga Radwanska (@aradwanska) on

7. Caroline Wozniacki

Total Earnings: US$7.5 million

Prize Money: US$2.5 million

Despite popping up in five tournament finals (and not winning any), world number three Caroline Wozniacki’s season only really got going with her capture of her first WTA Finals win in 2017.

Nonetheless, the 27-year-old Danish tennis pro still has a long list of corporate partnership with the likes of Adidas, Rolex, Usana, Babolat and State Drinks.

US Open 2017 @adidas @stellamccartney

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6. Garbine Muguruza

Total Earnings: US$7.7 million

Prize Money: US$4.2 million

Not content with last season’s French Open title, Garbine Muguruza carried on her rich vein of tennis form by capturing the 2017 Wimbledon Open crown.

However, the corresponding US$2.8 million in prize money and bonuses will only be included next year as it is after the 1 June deadline.

Siiiiii!!!! @wimbledon champ!!

A post shared by Garbiñe Muguruza (@garbimuguruza) on

5. Venus Williams

Total Earnings: US$10.5 million

Prize Money: US$3.5 million

While she doesn’t boast as many sponsors as her sister Serena, California native Venus Williams does have her own apparel line Eleven.

(Sneak peek!) @elevenbyvenus #2017

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Besides earning her six-figure pay check in the courts, the world number five female tennis legend is also a popular motivational speaker.

4. Ronda Rousey

Total Earnings: US$11 million

Prize Money: US$8 million

While it wasn’t a good year in the Octagon for the UFC 207 headliner, Ronda Rousey still made out like a bandit – securing a record-tying US$3 million guarantee and a cut of the 1.1 million pay-per-view buys.

Besides getting hitched, the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion has kept herself busy in Hollywood – as a coach on the Battle of the Network Stars TV show and starring in the upcoming movie Mile 22 with Mark Wahlberg.

3. Danica Patrick

Total Earnings: US$12.2 million

Prize Money: US$7.2 million

Danica Patrick, the most successful female American professional stock car driver, is the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race as well as to finish third in the 2009 Indianapolis 500.

The part-time model, who drives for Stewart-Haas Racing this season, has ten personal sponsors which includes the likes of Coca-Cola, Ford and Nationwide.

2. Angelique Kerber

Total Earnings: US$12.6 million

Prize Money: US$7.6 million

So far, 2017 is proving to be a year to forget for 29-year-old German tennis pro. After winning two Grand Slams last year, Kerber struggled as she went out in the fourth round and first round at the Australian and US Open respectively.

But with residual sponsor bonuses, and the inking of five new corporate sponsorship deals, the Olympic silver medallist still manages second spot on our list as she slip out of the top twenty.

1. Serena Williams

Total Earnings: US$27 million

Prize Money: US$8 million

Making headlines both on and off the courts, tennis legend Serena Williams is the only female sportswoman on the ForbesThe World Highest-Paid Athletes 2017 list – coming in at number 51!

Though she has been sidelined since her record-setting Australian Open win at the start of the year, the 36-year-old happy-mother-of-one still managed to surpass her other more active colleagues, raking in US$27 million!

12 times Ronaldo had a heart

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

FOX Sports Asia showcases twelve moments that CR7 put charity first.

Underneath the prickly arrogant façade, Cristiano Ronaldo is really just a softie at heart.

Sure we all know the 32-year-old as the talismanic Real Madrid and Portugal forward, but did you know he is also the global ambassador for the Save the Children charity?

And his philanthropical activities goes beyond that; Ronaldo is also involved in a long list of honourable causes such as disaster relief, cancer and etc.

So much so that he was named the world’s most charitable athlete in 2015 by Dosomething.org!

Despite earning about €50 million annually, Ronaldo states that it is his humble beginnings as a son of a gardener that inspires his generosity: “My father always taught me that when you help other people, then God will give you double… When I have helped other people who are in need, God has helped me more.”

1. Blood Donations

Here’s a CR7 fact that you might not know; did you know that the four-time Ballon d’Or winner gives blood in Portugal twice a year?

That is also why he sports no tattoos on his body.

CR7 only realised the importance of donating blood after his national teammate Carlo Martins’ son needed a bone marrow transfusion: “Donating bone marrow is something a lot of people think is a difficult thing to do but it’s nothing more than drawing blood and doesn’t hurt. It doesn’t cost anything. It’s a simple process and then you feel happy because you know you are helping another person.”

2. Greek Wedding Gift

Not one to stinge; Ronaldo’s charity knows no bounds after he brought his agent Jorges Mendes an entire Greek island, reportedly shaped like his own boot, as a wedding gift.

He was supposingly touched after Mendes asked him to be his best man.

3. Martunis

Back in 2004, CR7 came to the aid of the Indonesian tsunami victims after spotting a young Martunis, who was wearing a Portugal jersey with his name.

Besides raising funds for reconstruction, the two-time La Liga champion also paid for Martunis’ education! Coincidentally, Martunis has been signed by CR7’s boyhood club Sporting Lisbon.

4. Libel Payout Donation

After winning a libel case back in a 2004, the Portuguese national team captain donated the entire payout to a charity based in his hometown of Madeira. Talk about remembering your roots!

5. Trophies Donations

For someone who is pretty hung up about trophies, CR7 is surprisingly generous about giving his trophies away!

He auctioned off his 2012 Golden Shoe trophy for €1.5million to construct schools for Palestinian children in war-torn Gaza.

Recently, he also sold off his 2013 Ballon d’Or trophy to raise €454592 for terminally ill kids with the Make-A-Wish Foundation!

6. Nuhazet Guillen

In 2012, CR7 learnt of nine-year-old Real Madrid fan Nuhazet Guillen’s plight – Guillen was suffering from cancer and needed experimental drugs. He did not hesitate to pick up Guillen’s medical tab.

7. Erik Ortiz Cruz

In an appeal to pay their 10-month-old baby’s operation, Erik Ortiz Cruz’s parents sent a donation request to the three-time EPL champion asking for a pair of his football boots and jersey in 2014.

CR7 went above and beyond their call and ponied up the dough, all €46000 of it, for the operation as well as donating the original requested items.

He also sported a zig-zag hairstyle at the 2014 World Cup as a tribute to Cruz.

8. La Decima Watches

After creating history with Real’s tenth Champions League trophy (La Decima), Ronaldo decided to reward his teammate at Christmas with special Bulgari La Decima watches.

The fact that his initials and jersey (CR7) is engraved on all the watches does nothing to diminish the magnitude of his generosity to his teammates.

9. Porsche Gift

If we had any doubts that Ronaldo is a mummy’s boy, they would have been put to bed when the Real Madrid’s all-time top goal scorer brought a classic white Porsche for his mum’s 2015 birthday!

Considering his love of cars, it was one of the best gift that he was capable of giving.

10. Euro Silver Boot

Despite playing a crucial role in Portugal’s Euro 16 winning journey, CR7 was cruelly injured before the grand finals.

Having chipped in with three goals and assists for the tournament, he was awarded the Silver Boot. But CR7 chose to give the trophy to Nani, the stand-in captain for the grand finals, as an expression of gratitude for leading them to victory!

11. Madeira Cancer Centre

Flushed with the cash after his Euro 16 win, La Liga’s all-time top goal scorer decided to donate the entirety of his bonus prize money (€118507) to fund the Madeira cancer research centre that treated his mother back in 2009.

12. Nepal Earthquake Relief

Back in May 2015, CR7 was involved in helping raise funds for people affected by the Nepal earthquakes.

The Save The Children organisation’s global ambassador reportedly donated €5645620 to the aid effort.

12 Messi charity moments

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

We know everything Messi touches turns to gold on the football pitch, but did you know that he has a heart of gold too?

Lionel Messi. Barcelona’s main man; Argentina’s revered captain and easily the most gifted footballer of this generation.

And unlike other footballers, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner doesn’t choose to spend his money on casinos, race horses and other indulgences.

Instead, the 30-year-old Argentine forward focuses on charity work – which is centred mainly on kids.

This charity streak is no doubt a reflection of his own troubled childhood – in which he had nightly injections between 11 to 14 years old to battle his growth hormone deficiency and strengthen his legs.

After a 2007 visit to a hospital for terminally ill children, Messi started his own foundation (The Lionel Messi Foundation) to fund medical research and centres worldwide.

1. Haiti Visit

After an earthquake left the Central American country in ruin, the 2017 European Golden Shoe recipient took the time out of his busy footballing schedule to visit: “It was overwhelming to see the overcrowded displacement camp, the poverty in which people here live.”

2. Rosario Children Hospital Refurbishment

Named as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, Argentina’s all-time top goal scorer gave over €670000 for the refurbishment of a children hospital in his hometown Rosario. He even flew in doctors from Barcelona to train the local staff!

3. Sponsoring a 12-year-old boy’s medical bills

Back in 2012, in a nod to his past, Messi pledged to sponsor a 12-year-old boy medical bills for six years! The boy, an aspiring footballer, was suffering from the same growth hormone deficiency that Messi suffered himself!

4. Inspiring disabled Thai kids

While on tour in Thailand with Barcelona in 2013, last season’s La Liga top goal scorer took the time to meet and played football with young disabled Thai kids in Bangkok. The Thai kids came specially from all different parts of the country!

5. A Sun For The Children donation

Never one to close his wallet to charity, the ten-time Argentine Footballer of the Year winner donated over €350000 to UNICEF for the A Sun For The Children organisation. Not one to hog the limelight, the cheque was presented by Argentine actor Nico Vazquez.

6. Murtaza Ahmadi

Just last year, the internet ran riot with the images of six-year-old Afghan boy Murtaza Ahmadi wearing a blue plastic bag with Messi’s name and number.


In his most notable charitable act, Messi actually sent him a signed jersey! Ahmadi finally got to meet his idol in the flesh and boy was he excited!


7. “1 in 11” Campaign

At the start of the year, Messi joined forces with tennis superstar Serena Williams as the faces of the “1 in 11” campaign – to help 58 million children who are out of school to get an education. The campaign film was shown during last season La Liga match between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

8. Syrian Classrooms

Amidst the Syrian civil war, while other footballers were busy selling duvets, Messi and his foundation helped built twenty classrooms for affected Syrian schools and helping over 1600 displaced children!

He even went the extra mile on Facebook, calling for the an end to the conflict: “A war day is too much. The children of Syria have been subjected to violence and cruelty for SIX years in a conflict that holds them hostage. As a father and as a UNICEF’s Ambassador I am heartbroken. Add your voice to Unicef to demand the end of the war.”

9. Wedding Gift Donation

Even as Messi prepared for one of the major milestones in life, namely marriage, he still retained his selfless spirit. He got his wedding guests to forgo giving gifts in favour of a donation to his charity foundation instead! #aww

10. Wedding Dinner Donation

You might have thought that Messi would have more preoccupied with the “Wedding of the Century” and his wife Antonella Roccuzzo. Instead, the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year still had his charity hat on; donating all the leftover food and drink to the local food bank. #youwantfrieswiththat

Si ella sube yo también .. tirando pasos 🙈🙈🙈

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11. Support for Puerto Rico

After the recent Mexican earthquakes this year, Messi took to Facebook to express his support and thoughts to all those affected by the disaster: “Saddened by the events that have taken place over the past few weeks, in which many people have suffered the consequences of natural disasters in Mexico, the United States, Puerto Rico, as well as Southern Asia, Sierra Leone and in other places. My thoughts and support go out to the families of the victims and all of those who have been affected.”

12. Doctors Without Borders Donation

After landing a €72783 payday from Argentine newspaper La Razon for defamation, Messi generously donated the full sum to the international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders! The paper alleged that Messi wore a toupee and took the performance enhancing drug Nandrolone in the 2014 World Cup finals.

14 badass Zlatan quotes

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

Ahead of his return to action for Manchester United, we take a look at the best badass quotes from the one, and only, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

If there is one footballer who can top Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of tenacity, arrogance and personality on and off the pitch, then that will have to be Manchester United veteran striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Natural born animal

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The 36-year-old Swedish striker is no stranger to controversies off the pitch. Even in his older years!

So without further ado, we let Sweden’s all-time leading goal scorer doing the talking…

1. “The older I get, the better I get, like red wine.”

Nr 32

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With 28 goals in all competitions for United last season, the eleven times Swedish Forward of the Year winner might be right.

2. “I came like a king, left like a legend.”

At the end of his spell at Paris Saint-Germain, the talismanic striker was less than humble with his #famouslastwords. He won four league titles and remains their all-time top scorer with 156 goals.

3. “No way, Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.”

Things could have been so different for Ibra, if he submitted to a trial at Arsenal when he was at Malmo. But this is Zlatan; and even at a young age, the man budges for no one – even Arsene Wenger.

4. “Only God knows… You’re talking to him now.”

If there was any doubt about his abilities, it wouldn’t be coming from the man himself.

When asked before Sweden’s make-or-break 2014 World Cup qualification play-off against Portugal, the Swedish captain made it known who was the deciding factor for the match.

5. “One thing is for sure, a World Cup without me is nothing to watch so it is not worthwhile to wait for the World Cup.

Well, after Sweden fell to Portugal in the play-off tie, Ibra was not shy to let FIFA know what he thought of their ‘little’ tournament.

6. “We are looking for an apartment; if we do not find anything, then we will buy a hotel.”

Apparently, a Parisian apartment is not big enough to contain Zlatan’s ego and his family upon his transfer to PSG.

7. “Give them a bicycle with my autograph and that will be enough.”

You have Benjamin Franklin and you have me #bingorimer

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When probed on female footballers, the ex-Ajax player was not shy on how much he thought they should be paid.

8. “I can play in the eleven positions because a good player can play anywhere.”

Anyone fancy seeing Ibrahimovic between the sticks this season for United?

9. “I can’t help but laugh at how perfect I am.”

When you come to New York you have the Statue of Liberty, when you come to Sweden you have the Statue of Zlatan #comingsoon

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Well, the guy is (allegedly) God after all. Sooo, are we all still surprised?

10. “When you buy me, you are buying a Ferrari. If you drive a Ferrari you put premium petrol in the tank, you hit the motorway and you step on the gas. [Pep] Guardiola filled up with diesel and took a spin in the countryside. He should have bought a Fiat.”

Perhaps it is fair to say that Ibrahimovic are not the best of pals with ex-Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. #nuffsaid

11. “First I went left; he did too. Then I went right and he did too. Then I went left again and he went to buy a hot dog.”

After leaving Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz knotted, the four-time Swedish Male Athlete of the Year winner still managed to see the funny side of things.

12. “We were looking through his playlist in the dressing room — there was lots of Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers and Selena Gomez. It is nice to know that even David Beckham doesn’t have good taste in everything.”

We are guessing if Beckham did return to United for their annual Christmas party, Zlatan will be there blocking his way to the DJ console. Someone get Becks some #burn cream…

13. “If [Wayne Rooney] still wants to move next summer, or in January, I would urge him to come and play with me in Paris … If he did join, he would have to get used to the fact that Zlatan scores even better goals than him.”

Guess that makes up the other alumni absentee for this year’s United Christmas party…

14. “You can’t coach brilliance like that.”

After scoring an absolute cracker of a goal against England back in 2012, Ibrahimovic wanted to make sure that we knew who was responsible for the 2013 FIFA Puskas Goal of the Year.

15 unbelievable celebrity sports fans

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

Do you know which sports team your favourite celebrities support?

Girls’ Generation aka SNSD

Having display their sporty side in the video for their hit song Oh!, we really shouldn’t be surprised that the girls are big sports fan.

So much so they released a promo pic of then-nine-member-strong K-pop girl group all decked out in NBA-related fashion. How many NBA teams can you spot?

Jessica Jung

Now a bona fide solo musical artist and fashion designer, Jessica Jung is a former member of Girls’ Generation.

The 28-year-old Golden State Warriors fan became only the second star to receive her own customised basketball jersey from her favourite player Steph Curry!

Thanks for the jersey @stephencurry30 ! Bring home the #NBA championship #goldenstatewarriors 🏀

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The California homegirl’s song Fly was played in the Oracle Arena when she was invited to Game Five of last year’s NBA Finals. The song also name-drops Curry: “Winning like Steph Curry, we warriors.”

DIA

At their 2015 Gyeongju Hallyu Dream Concert, the then-seven member K-pop girl group decided to don the New York Rangers home jersey for their performance.

Six of the DIA members were in Rangers forward Chris Kreider jerseys, while band leader Huihyeon decided to go with a Rick Nash jersey.

Apparently, the all-girl band have made a fan out of Kreider, who has use the DIA video as his Twitter bio.

Jay Park

American K-pop star Jay Park is multi-hyphen wearing many hats – singer/songwriter, rapper, dancer, producer, actor AND a Cleveland Cavaliers fan.

The former 2PM boyband member was spotted in his team colours during this year’s Game Four of the NBA Finals!

Babymetal

As if we need any more reasons to love the three girls of the Japanese metal idol band Babymetal; the lovable trio consisting of Su-metal, Yuimetal and Moametal stole all NBA fans’ heart when they were presented with own personalised Orlando Magic jerseys during their tour in April.

Thanks #Orlando! Next show is April 27 at Tampa, FL / Amalie Arena with @chilipeppers ! #BABYMETAL #Chilipeppers #RHCP

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We are pretty sure their patron “Fox God”, who chose them to spread their music all over the world, will approve.

EXO

International K-pop sensation EXO has never shy away from their sports loyalty.

Besides acting as American footballers in their Love Me Right video, Chanyeol, Baekhyun, Kai and Chen had to show off their NFL mad skills when they lost a bet back in 2015!

Jay-Z

Better known for focusing on the business side of things these days, music mogul Jay-Z still retains a soft spot for his favourite NBA team, the Brooklyn Nets – in which he was a minority owner till 2013.

Since the rapper has gone on to launch his own sports talent agency, Roc Nation Sports, he was forced to sell off his stake in his home team. He said, “It was never about an investment; it was about the Nets and Brooklyn. My job as an owner is over but as a fan it has just begun.

Drake

If you haven’t realise by now, Canadian rapper Drake is a big basketball fan. After all, the man got LeBron James as part of his tour #squad.

Though theoretically a Toronto Raptors fan (and global image ambassador), the Hotline Bling singer is clearly also a Golden State Warriors and Steph Curry fan as well. He pays homage to the MVP player in his song 0 to 100 – “I been Steph Curry with the shot. Been cookin’ with the sauce, chef, curry with the pot, boy.”

Macklemore

One half of the duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, American rapper Macklemore is a Grammy Award-winning musician who is passionate about his hometown NFL team, the Seattle Seahawks.

The Thrift Shop singer is such a Seahawks fan that he performed in their first Super Bowl title celebrations back in 2014. Head coach Pete Carroll revealed that both Macklemore and Lewis had been hanging with the team for over a year then.


Jennifer Lawrence

Hollywood starlet Jennifer Lawrence might kick ass as heroine Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games film franchise, but the 27-year-old can be found unwinding at a University of Louisville Cardinals game.

JLaw has been seen scuffing down pizza and cheering on her hometown basketball team whenever she is back visiting.

Zooey Deschanel

You might remember her from the hit television sitcom New Girl, but did you know that manic pixie girl actress Zooey Deschanel is a big baseball fan?

Apparently, she doesn’t JUST play fantasy baseball (her team is called the Burbank Puppies). The San Francisco Giants fan was a constant fixture during their 2012 World Series run and even sang the national anthem in Game Three of the National League Championship Series!

Lady Gaga

If there is something that you can accuse singer and actress Lady Gaga of, it is definitely not being subtle with her love of the New York Yankees.

Besides giving the finger to rival Mets fans, the diehard baseball fan was rumoured to be banned from the Yankees’ clubhouse after sneaking in to meet the players in just her underwear and an open Yankees jersey!

Betcha her excuse was that she was Born This Way

Rihanna

International singing superstar Rihanna might be new to some aspects to American culture, but she has taken to the Los Angeles sports scene like a fish to water.

The Barbadian can be frequently found courtside supporting her favourite basketball team, the LA Lakers! She is such a passionate basketball fan that she could not stay silent during the Game One of the NBA Finals between Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors!

Kim and Khloe Kardashian

The second most famous sisters pairing on our list; both Kim and Khloe Kardashian are clearly big basketball fans. So much so that both siblings have dated and married NBA players!

While the younger Khloe is currently dating Cleveland Cavaliers star Tristan Thompson, her older sister Kim was previously married to New Jersey Nets’ Kris Humphries. Nonetheless, the two reality stars can usually be found courtside, supporting their favourite game.

Serena and Venus Williams

The most famous set of sisters in tennis (and the world); the Williams sisters’ sporting interest isn’t just restricted to the courts.

In fact, Serena and Venus are also big fans of the NFL team Miami Dolphins. They became part owners in 2009 and are the first female African-American NFL owners.

Beyond a marathon: Measuring the distance with Dave Cundy

Timothy Wee Timothy Wee

Let us bring you a behind-the-scene look at the upcoming Singapore marathon and how the iconic city race route gets measured.

Running is a sport almost as old as time. It is a universal sport that everyone has tried their hands at; regardless of nationality, creed, gender and even age!

So it might surprise you that although marathons have been around since the 490BC, the distance (42.195 kilometres) wasn’t standardised till 1921. Even if the fabled road race activity was one of the original Olympic events in 1896.

And even with a standardised distance, marathons still need to be measured.

And there is no better man to walk (or in this instance, cycle) us through this painstaking process than the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races’ (AIMS) Vice President and Technical Director, Dave Cundy.

With over twenty years of experience under his belt, Cundy was in town recently to measure the upcoming Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon happening on Sunday, 3rd December.

He uses a calibrated bicycle and a Jones counter for the task. The Jones counter, mounted on the wheel, measures the distance via the revolutions of the bike’s front wheel – it is the only approved method of measurement.

Cundy in his own words…

“If I am able to ride from start to finish… I can be there in about three hours. But this will take three days… Because after I do all these measurements, and I stop and take lots of references along the course, I sit back at the hotel at night and I do all my data and calculations.”

“I’m doing this one during the day, so there’s a bit of traffic and this one is particularly slow because I got to start and stop a lot and I can’t ride against the traffic… so you got go forward to measure backwards traffic and go back and rejoin. There are a lot of broken bits stuff.”

“The most important thing is to get the overall distance – it’s got to be at least 42.195 kilometres. But it’s also important for all of the runners that you have accurate kilometres markers too because we’ve all been in races where you do one kilometre in four minutes and the next one will take six minutes.”

“I have to measure the shortest possible route, and in theory, if the leader is out by himself… he would take the same route that I would. So when we get to the finish line, everybody in the race should have at least run 42.195 kilometres. No one should have run shorter.”

“So I am out on my bike, cutting every corner, taking all the tangents. And when we goes round a corner with a curb, we measure 30 centimetres from the curb. If you go around the corner without a curb, like out at East Coast Park, you go twenty centimetres from the edge.”

“But that’s how the track measured, we’ve adopted it on the road. So we had to convince the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations), whatever they did on the track, we try to do on the road.”

“I sort of drifted into running from playing other sports… Eventually, the tennis and squash stopped and I just kept running… On a Sunday morning, a group of us would always meet and go do our 32 kilometres run… It was a social occasion and you do it and then have breakfast on the way home.”

“I started organising marathons in 1980 and wondered how you measured these things. And I am not exactly sure how I found out, maybe through a Runner’s World magazine or something – no Google and internet stuff in those days.”

“I went to Athletics Australia and said there is an international way of measuring (marathons) and we should adopt it in Australia. And they said, we agree; now go and do it. So I went and did it.”

“I schooled myself with training programmes and taught others… I say to runners that you must put pressure on the marathon organisers to get it measured… In the 1980s’, hardly any of them were – even to the fact that the 1982 Commonwealth Games marathon wasn’t measured properly.”

“It wasn’t until 1982 that AIMS started out. One of the reasons I started it was to do something about marathon measurement – to have standards around the world. It took another 22 years before the IAAF accepted the measurement was robust enough that we could have world records on the road.”

“AIMS started with 28 race organisers around the world, there’s now about 440 members… and really the only rule is active measurement… measurements you can control and standardise around the world.”

“A university in Perth did a survey a few years ago; said there’s got be a better method. And they spent twelve months researching and they came back and said this Jones Counter is a good device. It was developed in the late 50s’ early 60s’.”

“One of the good things about the measuring system we use, the calibrated bicycle method; everybody got bikes… you just need to buy a Jones counter… and you need to be able to measure out a calibration course with a measuring tape… That’s the only equipment that you need; so people in Ethiopia, who got no money, can measure as well as they can in Singapore or New York.

“I think the major thing right now is that the race is coming out of the park and into the streets. This will be a fantastic race when it is 42.159 kilometres on the city streets.”

“It’s nice running in East Coast Park, but it is not nice for a major race because you can’t clear the bikes, baby pushers, the walkers and the dogs… A marathon is a road race; get it out on the roads! [laughs]”

“This might sound silly, but you got to inconvenience people to make it successful. Eventually, the people will embrace it… In Berlin and New York, when it is marathon day, people don’t drive their cars. People come out in their hundreds of thousands and stand on the roads supporting the runners. The police statistics for New York’s lowest crime rate day is on marathon day.”

*Dave Cundy spoke to us courtesy of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. For more info, click here.


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