For the first time ever, the Singapore women's Tchoukball team are ranked at world No. 1, knocking Chinese Taipei into second place.
According to the International Tchoukball Federation, the official ranking for the women's category was updated as of Jan. 1, 2023, and Singapore is in first place.
They previously trailed Chinese Taipei in second place.
However, the Singapore team only found out a month later, on Jan. 27, 2023, when the International Tchoukball Federation posted a Facebook post on the updated world rankings.
Tchoukball Association of Singapore posted on Facebook the latest rankings that reflected the women's ranks.
The Singapore men's team are ranked third overall.
According to The Straits Times (ST), when Delane Lim, the Tchoukball Association of Singapore's president, found out on Jan. 27, he immediately told one of the players Angie Ng.
Once they confirmed their ranking, Ng apparently screamed, "Oh my god!" in the office with Lim, wrote ST.
The rest of the women's team was informed via their group chat.
This historic achievement comes after the women's team beat Chinese Taipei, 39-35, in the final of the 2022 Asia Pacific Tchoukball Championship held in Malaysia in Aug. 2022.
This is the women's team's first gold medal at the championship.
Speaking to ST, the captain of the women's team Irene Tan, said that it was not customary for the team to check the rankings, which are updated yearly. Tan has been on the team since 2009.
"We are all very excited but also in disbelief. I hope this will give us more confidence to make more history," Tan said to ST.
Tan also explained that she was proud of what the team has achieved, as the goal was always to beat reigning champions Chinese Taipei.
Tan added that the ranking would also help boost their confidence ahead of this year's Tchoukball World Championship in August in Prague.
Raise the profile of Tchoukball in Singapore
The players and Lim hope this achievement will help raise awareness of Tchoukball in Singapore and more people will be encouraged to pick it up, ST reported.
Lim hopes the sport will be included in the National School Games and added as a demonstration sport in the 2027 SEA Games, which will be held in Malaysia.
"It takes a village to raise a child. Likewise in any sport, we need the whole village to rally behind our teams to let them know that we are supporting them," said Lim.
Top photo from Tchoukball Association of Singapore's Facebook