2016

JENNY TAY
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
MANAGING DIRECTOR OF DIRECT FUNERAL SERVICES

2016

SUDHA NAIR
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FAMILY VIOLENCE SPECIALIST CENTRE

2015

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD 55TH ANNIVERSARY & WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2015

PRISCILLA SHUNMUGAM
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FASHION DESIGNER, ONG SHUNMUGAM

2015

ZURAIDAH ABDULLAH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

2014

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2014

SIM CHI YIN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

2014

RACHEL ENG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
JOINT MANAGING PARTNER, WONG PARTNERSHIP

2013

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2013

DR YEO SZE LING
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
RESEARCH SCIENTIST, A*STAR INSTITUTE FOR INFOCOMM RESEARCH

2013

ASSOC PROFESSOR LIM SWEE HIA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR DIRECTOR, SINGHEALTH-ALICE LEE IAN

2011/12

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2011/12

JANICE WONG
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
CHEF & OWNER OF 2AM:DESSERTBAR

2011/12

PROFESSOR IVY NG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SINGHEALTH

2010

DR OON CHIEW SENG
HER WORLD SPECIAL AWARD
FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, APEX HARMONY LODGE

2010

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR, YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER & SPECIAL AWARD
SEE PHOTOS

2010

DR MARISSA TEO
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
RESEARCH FELLOW, NATIONAL CANCER CENTRE SINGAPORE

2010

DR CHEONG KOON HEAN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT BOARD

2009

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD 50TH ANNIVERSARY & WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS & WATCH VIDEO

2009

SINGAPORE WOMEN'S EVEREST TEAM
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
MOUNTAINEERS

2009

LIM HWEE HUA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CABINET MINISTER

2008

YIP PIN XIU
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NATIONAL PARALYMPIC SWIMMER

2008

LAURENTIA TAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
PARALYMPIC EQUESTRIAN ATHLETE

2008

GOH SOO KHIM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
CO-FOUNDER & FORMER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SINGAPORE DANCE THEATRE

2007

MELISSA KWEE
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL VOLUNTEER & PHILANTHROPY CENTRE

2007

DR NOELEEN HEYZER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS & SOCIAL SCIENTIST

2006

ESTHER TAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NAVAL DIVER & ENDURANCE SPORTS SPECIALIST

2006

LIM SOO HOON
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
PERMANENT SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF FINANCE

2005

GALA DINNER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR & YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER AWARDS
SEE PHOTOS

2005

THERESA GOH
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
NATIONAL PARALYMPIC SWIMMER

2005

EULEEN GOH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STANDARD CHARTERED SINGAPORE

2004

LI JIAWEI
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
FORMER NATIONAL TABLE TENNIS PLAYER

2004

ANNABEL PENNEFATHER
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
LAWYER & VICE PRESIDENT, SINGAPORE NATIONAL OLYMPIC COUNCIL

2003

DR WONG TING HWAY
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SURGEON & HUMANITARIAN WORKER

2003

HALIMAH YACOB
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT & TRADE UNIONIST

2002

ELIM CHEW
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
ENTREPRENEUR & FOUNDER, 77TH STREET

2002

OLIVIA LUM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FOUNDER & GROUP CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, HYFLUX LTD

2001

STEFANIE SUN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SINGER-SONGWRITER

2001

CHNG SEOK TIN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
ARTIST, WRITER & COMMUNITY WORKER

2000

JING JUNHONG
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
HEAD COACH, NATIONAL WOMEN’S TABLE TENNIS TEAM

2000

DR JENNIFER LEE
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, KK WOMEN’S & CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

1999

TERESA HSU
HER WORLD SPECIAL AWARD
FOUNDER, HOME FOR THE AGED SICK & HEART TO HEART SERVICES

1999

KIT CHAN
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER
SINGER & ACTRESS

1999

JENNIE CHUA
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, RAFFLES INTERNATIONAL

1998

CLAIRE CHIANG
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, BANYAN TREE HOLDINGS

1997

ELIZABETH SAM
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER DEPUTY PRESIDENT, OCBC BANK

1996

FANG AI LIAN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER CHAIRMAN & MANAGING PARTNER, ERNST & YOUNG

1995

YU-FOO YEE SHOON
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER MINISTER OF STATE & TRADE UNIONIST

1994

LEAENA TAMBYAH
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FOUNDER, AWWA SPECIAL SCHOOL

1993

HEDWIG ANUAR
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL LIBRARY

1992

DR KANWALJIT SOIN
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEON & FIRST WOMAN NOMINATED MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

1991

PROFESSOR CHAN HENG CHEE
HER WORLD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
AMBASSADOR-AT-LARGE & CHAIRMAN, NAC
2000
JING JUNHONG
HER WORLD YOUNG WOMAN ACHIEVER

She’s ranked 12th in the world, named Sportswoman of the Year twice, and was our bronze hope for the Sydney Olympics. Her World fields a few rounds with Jing Junhong

Q: All we’ve seen of Jing Junhong is her wielding her paddle. What’s another side of you we don’t see?
Jing Junhong: I can wield a wok too—I’ve been told I’m not a bad cook and I often whip up Shanghainese food (Shanghai is her hometown). My biggest fan is my husband. Come to think of it, I’m sure he sings my praises to keep me in the kitchen! He’s afraid I won’t feed him.

Q: You are now ranked 12th in the world (by the International Table Tennis Federation). How did you get this far?
Junhong: Determination has brought me through all the tough times. And some talent, I suppose. I was spotted quite late – at age eight – when other kids had already been training seriously for at least two years. Unlike parents these days, mine (a teacher and an engineer) were quite laid-back. They didn’t even attend any of the competitions I took part in during my first two years of serious playing. They were more concerned that I obeyed my teacher in school.

Q: You’ve come under attack many times for being China-born, yet representing Singapore, particularly during the recent Olympics. How did you handle that?
Junhong: It’s my 10th year in Singapore and I’ve sacrificed quite a bit of my life for my achievements. But I did not get here on my own. I’ve been helped in many ways by many people. My sacrifices have been made alongside the sacrifices of other Singaporeans such as coaches, sponsors and supporters. So, if the detractors want to deny me my dues, they are also denying these other Singaporeans all that they’ve invested in me. Now isn’t it a contradiction?

Q: You managed to get a lot of people excited about table tennis. How does it feel to be such a major attraction?
Junhong: I get recognised a lot more—in the market, at the bakery. Once, two aunties came right up to me and said how much I looked like the table tennis player on TV. They stopped me, looked me over and compared notes, but decided I was not Junhong. The one on TV was too fat and squat, they said. I stopped short of laughing out loud! We athletes are not like movie stars. Put us on TV and we fill the screen. Yes, we should just stick to playing the game!

Q: You list motherhood as your second occupation. What has it been like so far?
Junhong: There’s nothing like being able to hug my son after a bad game. Before Meng Huen came along two years ago, a bad day at practice meant a bad day at home. But now, I have a life outside the sport and I’ve learnt to cope with pressure a lot better. So what I missed a few shots in the game or at practice today? My son still welcomes me home with open arms. Motherhood agrees with me and I’d like to have one more child before I’m too old.

Q: With such a tight schedule, how do you make the time for your baby and your husband?
Junhong: Simple. I drop everything right after I get home. I dump the equipment and take off with my family. My baby gets my undivided attention and we do what he wants. Mostly we go for an evening stroll in the park, walk around the shops or play with his toys.

And if my husband is free, we do some shopping or eating in Johor. That way, we get to spend some time together and talk. It’s an important part of our marriage. It’s also my way of winding down.

Q: Training is tough so what are some of the little luxuries you enjoy?
Junhong: I don’t shop that much or buy expensive things, though I do treat myself to some trinkets now and then—like this cheap pair of blue shades. Trendy, don’t you think?

If I do have a weakness, it is for food—seafood. I’m not picky where I eat but I do like trying things everywhere. But really, the biggest luxury, as any working mother will tell you, is spending time and money on my son.

Q: You’ve had a great run over the last few years, but were there any low points we didn’t see?
Junhong: I’ve had my ups and downs and ironically one of the worst patches came after my son was born—I had problems getting back into the swing of things.

During my pregnancy, I followed my coach’s advice and took a year off. I spent those pregnant months stuffing myself silly. I didn’t even bother to work out. I put on 20kg, when normal women would put on just half of that. It took over four months to get back into shape—so you can imagine how tough it was.

When I resumed competitions, I kept losing games and missing shots. I thought I had lost it. I almost quit table-tennis altogether. But a sports psychologist helped me focus on my strengths and I got out of the slump.

Q: What motto do you live by?
Junhong: It sounds much more elegant in Chinese, but basically the saying goes that if you want to succeed, there must be sacrifice. Talent will only get you so far. You must be able to put in single-minded, focused hard work. I always tell my juniors, don’t worry about winning—thinking too much only clouds your judgement. Just focus on hitting the balls well and you’ll get there somehow.

Q: Who are your role models?
Junhong: Basketball star Michael Jordan and tennis champ Andre Agassi. Both left their careers at one point and came back on top of their games. I wouldn’t dare compare myself with them, but their determination and strength is something I could learn from. It can’t be easy to psych yourself up for the second wind.

Q: Your husband has been described as your pillar of strength. How did you get together anyway?
Junhong: Soo Han was a table tennis player. So was I. No guesses how we met. I was just 20 and still in Shanghai then and he was a visiting athlete from Singapore who was there for training. He was staying at my coach’s home that time and we met during Chinese New Year. I guess my coach probably took it on himself to play matchmaker.

Q: So how would you describe your soul mate?
Junhong: I’m the one with the temper and he’s the one who stays calm and composed—even if he’s excited inside. We both eat, sleep and live for the game. On bad days when I miss my shots, my husband knows how to dive for cover before I take it out on him!

It’s great that Soo Han and I speak a common language and he understands my fears and frustrations. He was my coach for a few years and that worked out quite well.

When players do badly, we sometimes can’t express how we feel. But with a husband who also happens to be your coach, things are different: He sees me day-in, day-out, hears me grumble on and off court and is better able to identify and correct the real problems.

Q: At 32, some people say you are at the tail end of your career. What do you say?
Junhong: It’s true that I’m at the wrong end of the age chart… But this is the time in an athlete’s life that should be treasured most. I believe I’ve just entered my golden age—when my body is strong and my experiences rich.

The maturity I have now is my strongest hand. My strategies are sounder and I’m more able to deal with problems thrown up in the game. I’m lucky my peers are still very much in the game—they may be way past 30 but still rank among the top 10 in the world, with babies and all. So, if they can do it, so can I. HW

MAKING OF A CHAMP
– Training: This takes up a punishing six hours each day – she starts at 9.30am – and it doesn’t include time spent at the gym!
– Naps: Champs also need their beauty sleep. Junhong has a little room at the table tennis training centre to nap in during lunch.
– Massages: It’s not a luxury but a necessity for her to recover from the intense training. Junhong gets her regular rub once a week, more if she is in the midst of competitions.
– Mental fitness: This is as important as physical strength, so a sports psychologist is on call to prep her mentality for a game, especially during the competitive seasons.

MILESTONES:
1991: Came to Singapore from China to marry Singapore national player Loy Soo Han, and joined the Singapore Table Tennis Team
1993: Ranked 10th in the world and won bronze medals in the team and mixed doubles in the Southeast Asian Games
1994: Gave up her Chinese citizenship to become Singaporean
1995: Picked up another two gold medals and a silver at the SEA Games in Chiangmai. Collected another silver and bronze at the Commonwealth Championship
1996: Named Sportswoman of the Year by the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore National Olympic Council, and made it to the quarter finals of the Atlanta Olympics
1997: Won a historic four gold medals for Singapore at the Commonwealth Games
1999: Picked up another two gold medals and a bronze at the SEA Games
2000: Fought through to the semi-finals and placed fourth in the Sydney Olympics