Schooling, Yip, Goh and Albirex make 2016 a landmark year for Singapore

Take a look at what made 2016 a historic sporting year for Singapore.

Joseph Schooling
Schooling won Singapore its first-ever Olympic gold medal in 2016 Reuters

Singapore sports had one if its finest years as athletes created history at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Joseph Schooling became a sensation overnight after his phenomenal achievement at the 2016 Rio Olympics while Yip Pin Xiu and Theresa Goh brought the Republic more joy at the Olympic Aquatic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

However, there were a few heartbreaks as well when Singapore table tennis team missed a medal at Rio Games by a whisker. Also, the Lions' performance at the AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 tournament was not one that Singapore football fans will cherish.

IBTimes Singapore brings you a list of sporting events that has made 2016 an unforgettable year.

Joseph Schooling brings Singapore's first Olympic gold

In 2008, when the world's most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps visited Singapore for a training camp, a 14-year-old schoolboy had approached him for a photograph. Eight years later, it was Phelps, after having won five medals in Rio and 27 in his Olympic career, who was gearing up for his fourth straight Men's 100m butterfly gold.

However on August 12, it was the then schoolboy, Joseph Schooling, who finished on top step of the podium delaying Phelps' 28th Olympic medal. The 21-year-old had edged past the American swimmer, South Africa's Chad le Clos and Hungary's Laszlo Cseh to set an Olympic record of 50.39s to win Singapore its first ever Olympic gold.

Watched by his mother and president of the Republic Tony Tan, who were present at the Olympic Aquatic Stadium, Schooling created history and got the better of his childhood idol.

Schooling, who is now busy with his university studies at the University of Texas, has a big year ahead with Fina World Championships in Budapest in July and the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur being the two biggest events of the 2017 calendar.

Yip Pin Xiu's double delight in Rio

Yip Pin Xiu
Yip Pin Xiu won her third Paralympic gold medal in Rio Reuters

Yip was a Paralympic veteran when she arrived in Rio de Janeiro for the Games in September. She had won her first gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games and also capped it off with a bronze in the same year.

In 2016 though, Yip had decided to smash records. The 24-year-old bettered a world record, which she had set in the pool, to clinch her second and the country's first at the 2016 Paralympic Games when she won the Women's (S2) 100m backstroke in just 2:07.09s. She was not done yet.

Five days later, at the same venue, Yip created history as she became the first Singapore Paralympian to win two medals at a Games. The Singapore swimmer won the Women's (S2) 50m backstroke on 15 September to return home with two gold medals hanging around her neck.

Theresa Goh ends medal drought

Theresa Goh
Theresa Goh made her Paralympic debut at the 2004 Athens Games Reuters

Goh was Singapore's first Paralympian swimmer when she made her debut in the pool at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games. However, she had been missing Paralympic medals by close margins over the years.

Come 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Goh rewrote the script and continued the success Singapore had in the pool in the ongoing year. She won the bronze medal in the Women's 100m breaststroke SB4 event at Rio Paralympics 2016 on 12 September.

One of the most consistent performers at the Asean Para Games with 27 gold medals, Goh brought home Singapore its second medal from Rio after Yip's 100m backstroke S2 gold.

The Feng Tianwei Saga

Feng Tianwei
Feng Tianwei finished with a bronze at ITTF World Cup Reuters

Singapore's most successful paddler Feng Tianwei has had a mixed year in 2016. The 30-year-old had suffered an Olympic disappointment when Singapore's Table Tennis Team, missed the bronze in Rio by a whisker after losing to Japan 1-3.

At the 2016 ITTF Women's World Cup, Feng, the top seed, primed to clinch the title after top-ranked Chinese paddlers, Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen, pulled out of the annual event due to injuries. However, she lost the semi-final against Japan's Miu Hirano on 9 October but clinged on to a bronze after Hong Kong's Tie Yana in the third-place match in Philadelphia.

Feng though suffered a big shock Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) dropped her from the national team in October, days after her World Cup bronze. The move took the sports fraternity of the country by shock as the paddler was eyeing a berth in Tokyo.

However, she was handed with the opportunity to continue representing her country in international competitions after the STTA confirmed its support last month. Feng finished the year on a high after beating Olympic champion and world number one Ding Ning in the Chinese Super League earlier this month.

Lions suffer worst AFF Suzuki Cup campaign

Hariss Harun
Singapore exited Suzuki Cup in the group stages Reuters

Singapore did not have a great buildup to the 2016 edition of Suzuki Cup as they had suffered a six-match losing streak ahead of the biennial tournament. However, V Sundramoothy and his men promised at least a semi-final appearance.

But the Lions exited the tournament in the group stages itself after managing to collect only one point, which is also their worst ever Suzuki Cup performance. Defeats to Thailand and Indonesia cut short the four-time winners' run in the tournamnet.

S.League: Albirex Niigata's stunning quadruple, Tampines lose Pennant

While local giants Tampines Rovers made the cash splash ahead of the 2016 season by bringing in big names, including former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant, it was Albirex Niigata's year.

The satellite club of J.League side with the same name became the first-ever football club in Singapore to win a quadruple by winning the League Cup, Community Shield and the Singapore Cup as well. The White Swans defeated Tampines in the final of the Singapore Cup to stamp their authority over the rest in the league.

Jermaine Pennant
File Photo of Tampines Rovers winger Jermaine Pennant Reuters

The biggest news from S.League in the year was Pennant's decision to leave The Stags after only a nine-month stint in Singapore. He reportedly rejected a contract extension offer from the Stags and was was forced to make the decision after the Tampines management reduced wage budget considerably to venture into a "sustainable" future.

Teenager Yuan Chow's national record

Singapore teenager Lui Yan Chow created history on 10 November when he set the Under 18 record in 3000 metres after his AV Milers race at Melbourne's Lakeside Stadium. The 17-year-old, who lives in Australia, clocked 8:35.92s in the race to better Chamkaur Singh's 2010 feat of 8:43.87s.

Chow, who also broke the junior 1,500m national record in January earlier this year with a timing of 3:58.62s, is targeting a berth at the 2017 SEA Games.