Officially registered in January 2001, however, it was an initiative proposed by passionate weightlifting fans in the sporting community. A small but brave group of volunteers (who were not weightlifters, but active sportspeople in their own rights) revived it, and took upon their shoulders to succeed in this challenge.
SWF, a National Sports Association under the purview of the Singapore Sports Council, was formed as a response to reviving a national body for weightlifting after a hiatus of nearly 10 years. This gap of time proved to be a formidable but not impossible task for the new team.
`We held our inaugural national championships in 2002, where we invited competitors form the Malaysian states. SWF contends that regional events enhance our competitive spirit and edge, as well as develops healthy relationships between weightlifting associations with mutual sharing of expertise and recognition for each other.
It is the mission of the Singapore Weightlifting Federation is to establish the necessary programmes to facilitate and encourage increased participation in the sport as well as maximising the resources available to ensure the competitiveness of the athletes with a strong and efficient management team
The Singapore Weightlifting Federation believes in maintaining an open relationship with its stakeholders in pursuit of win-win solutions, which all stakeholders – athletes, coaches and partners – can benefit from. Integrity must be maintained in all its activities and initiatives.
The first international medal by a Singaporean was won when weightlifter Thong Saw Park won a silver medal in the lightweight category at the British Empire Games in 1950. He was the highest-ranked Singaporean weightlifter then and was ranked tenth in the world in the lightweight category prior to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, in which he participated. Thong later went on to gain his doctorate from Queen’s University at Belfast and was Head of the Physics Department in the University of Malaya.
Chay Weng Yew was placed sixth at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in the featherweight division. Chay was the first to lift 272 kg at a Mr Singapore competition at the New World Stadium. He held the national title from 1948 to 1953 and was Champion of Champions from 1950 to 1953.
Lon bin Mohamed Noor was Singapore’s best bantamweight weightlifter. He lifted 283.5 kg in training and finished eighth at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
Singaporean Wong Kay Poh was the first lightweight weightlifter in Malaya to clean-and-jerk over 135 kg at the Happy World Stadium in Mar 1954. He represented Singapore in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in the middleweight category and was placed ninth.
In the 1958 Cardiff Commonwealth Games, Tan Howe Liang took the gold in the lightweight category by lifting 358 kg. Tan also established a world record in the clean-and-jerk. That same year, Tan also won a gold at the 3rd Asian Games in Tokyo. In Cardiff, Tan Ser Cher also took the gold in the featherweight event with a lift of 310 kg
Tan Howe Liang was the first and only Olympic medallist from Singapore when he won the lightweight silver medal on 9 Sep 1960 at the Palazetto Dello Sport Hall in Rome. 27-year-old Tan lifted a total of 380 kg to win that medal.
At the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Tan Howe Liang won a gold by lifting a combined 390 kg in the middleweight category. At the same Games, Singaporean Chua Phung Kim set a record in the featherweight event by lifting 322 kg.
Weightlifter Chua Koon Siong fainted for seven minutes after hurting his brows and lips during his first lift at the 1981 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship. He returned to complete the second and third lifts with blood oozing from his brow and lips, and won the gold medal with a final lift of 137.5 kg.
Teo Yong Joo, a protégé of Tan Howe Liang, became the youngest participating weightlifter at age 21 at the 1983 SEA Games, where he won a gold. At the 1986 Commonwealth Games, he won a bronze.
Tan Howe Liang was the first weightlifter in the world to be awarded the International Weightlifting Federation (national honour) Gold Award in 1984. He was also awarded the IOC Pin in 1989 for his performance at the 1960 Rome Olympics.