Singapore indoor skydivers win two golds at 5th FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving, three titles at 1st FAI Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships

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Singapore dominated the inaugural competition with the most number of podium finishes

SINGAPORE, 22 April 2024 – Singapore’s indoor skydivers clinched two World Cup golds and three Asian titles at the international competition held in Macau last week. The biennial 5th FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving (WCIS) was held from 16 – 22 April, with the inaugural FAI Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships and 3rd FAI European Indoor Skydiving Championships taking place concurrently – marking the first time a major indoor skydiving event was held in Asia. Over 200 athletes competed in the WCIS, and Singapore was represented in six of the seven categories on offer.

The 21-strong Singapore contingent was the country’s biggest to date at an international event, and the athletes clinched a total of four WCIS medals (2 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze) and six Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships medals (3 golds, 2 silvers and 1 bronze). 

Credit : Marat Daminov

Teenager Kai Minejima-Lee, making his first appearance in the Open category of the World Cup, won the Solo Freestyle (Open) title. The 15-year-old, who scored 71.7 points to top the field of 19, is the youngest World Cup champion for the Solo Freestyle (Open) category. He said: “I wanted to show the world the routine that showcased the culmination of the past 8 years of training. Competing against the athletes who have taught me so much and who I’ve looked up to for so long was daunting, but it only made me want to perform better”. 

Team-mate Tobias Chaloupka, who is an iFly Singapore instructor and representing Singapore, concluded his first World Cup with a sixth-placed finish in the WCIS and a silver medal in the Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships.

Compatriot Isabelle Koh, competing in her second WCIS, won the Solo Freestyle (Junior) title after her score of 72.4 placed her ahead of 10 other competitors. The 16-year-old, who had exchanged the lead with Hungary’s Maté Feith twice throughout the rounds before pulling ahead in the fifth and final round, said: “I knew I had to deliver the flight of a lifetime to make up for the 0.5-point deficit going into the final round, but I was oddly calm and just wanted to fly and show my routine to the world.

Credit : Marat Daminov

Isabelle, who was the 2022 World Cup champion in the Dynamic 4-Way (Junior) category, teamed up with Jordan Lee in the Dynamic 2-Way (Open) in this competition – the duo bagged a bronze medal in the WCIS and finished as the top Asians in the event. They were just ahead of fellow Singaporeans Vera Poh and Kai Minejima-Lee, who placed second in the Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships.

Singapore was second in the Dynamic 4-Way (Open) category for WCIS, represented by Vera Poh, Kai Minejima-Lee, Choo Yi Xuan and Jordan Lee.

One more bronze at the Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships was secured through the 4-Way Formation Skydiving (Female) team comprising Choo Yi Xuan, Shirley Ng, Shirley Wong and Sandy Wong. This is the first time that competitive indoor skydiver, Yi Xuan, is partnering with the rest of them whom have not participated in a major competition before.

Team member Shirley Ng, 45, said: “I’m really happy that my team achieved a podium finish at the Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships despite it being the first competition for most of us. It was quite nerve-racking, seeing the very high standards from other participants, but we kept calm and took it as our training, and got into the flow quickly after the first day of competition. It helped that we had a few days of training in the tunnel before the actual competition. We also had team huddles before each round of competition to psych ourselves up and cheer one another on – that kept our spirits high throughout the competition.”

Singapore’s results at the WCIS 2024 and Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships are as follows.

EventContestant/AgeAward
  5th FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving1st FAI Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships
Solo Freestyle (Open)Kai Minejima-Lee (15)GoldGold
Tobias Chaloupka (22)6thSilver
Solo Freestyle (Junior)Isabelle Koh (16) GoldGold
Dynamic 2-Way (Open)Jordan Lee (19), Isabelle Koh (16)   BronzeGold
Vera Poh (14), Kai Minejima-Lee (15)5thSilver
Dynamic 4-Way (Open)Vera Poh (14), Kai Minejima-Lee (15), Choo Yi Xuan (22), Jordan Lee (19)  SilverN/A
4-Way Formation Skydiving (Open)Eugene Cho (42), Leonard Tan (47), Eng Yew Kiang (42), Galvin Chan (46)15th4th
Alvin Yap (39), Yeo Yong Quan (38), Aw Wei Xiang (34), Shaun Lim (31)19th
Ko Kai Xiang (28), Chong Wei En (32), Shaun Gan (34), Ng Wei Chien (32)20th
4-Way Formation Skydiving (Female)Choo Yi Xuan (22), Shirley Ng (45), Shirley Wong (46), Sandy Wong (49)7thBronze

The athletes trained at indoor skydiving facility iFly Singapore in preparation for the competition, and iFly Singapore founder and CEO Lawrence Koh said: “Congratulations to the Singapore team for their wonderful achievements at the 5th FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving and 1st FAI Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships. Their accomplishments are testament to the hard work and training they have put in, and we are proud to have been able to support their preparations. We are also heartened by the introduction of the very first edition of the Asian Indoor Skydiving Championships at the WCIS. This reflects the sport’s growth in the region and beyond, and we hope our Singapore team’s performance continues to inspire more people to try their hand at indoor skydiving.”

Credit : Marat Daminov

Brief descriptions of the disciplines are available below. Event information is available at https://wcis2024.goairborne.com.

About the categories

Dynamic 2-Way

Dynamic consists of speed and free rounds. The free round is an artistic expression of the teams’ flying skills to music. The speed round is a race against the clock. The competition follows a tournament knockout system where the team that makes it through every battle in the end wins the competition.

Dynamic 4-Way

Dynamic consists of speed rounds. The speed round is a race against the clock. Flyers perform compulsory routines in the fastest possible time. All members of the dynamic 4-way team go through a specific sequence and are required to complete it together as fast as possible.

Freestyle

Freestyle is an individual discipline. The athletes perform free routines to music as well as two compulsory routines where the athletes are scored on how well they perform compulsory moves. The athlete with the highest accumulated score after 5 rounds wins.

4-Way Formation Skydiving

All members of the 4-way FS team go through as many scoring formations and as accurately as possible within the working time. The team with the highest accumulated score of all rounds wins.

Main Pic Credit: Credit iFly Singapore

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