Written by : Koh Yizhe
21-year-old Timothee Yap may have just switched to the 100metre sprint from 400metre hurdles a year ago, but he will be representing Singapore in that event at the 2016 Rio Olympics come August.
Yap, who has a personal best of 10.62 seconds, was given the male wildcard slot by Singapore Athletics on Monday evening. His nomination was confirmed by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) the following day, sealing his plane ticket to Brazil.
“It is all a bit surreal for me and even now, I am still in a state of disbelief,” said Yap. “I was only in contention for this honour on Friday and here I am going to the Olympics! I am very thankful for this opportunity especially since I am new to the 100 metres.”
Before he sets off, however, he will be fully focused on getting some medals around his neck on the tracks of Choa Chu Kang Stadium at the ASEAN University Games (AUG). He will be competing in three events – the 100m, 200m and 4x100m – where he will be gunning for 3 medals on the tracks of the Chua Chu Kang Stadium.
“My main goal throughout the season was to earn a medal at the AUG and that has not change despite the fact that I got the Olympic wildcard,” explained the National University of Singapore (NUS) student, who found out about his Olympic chance at the Administration Briefing of the AUG. “I have been training hard for this meet and I will be hoping to medal in all three events. I will also try to break my PB to set me up nicely for the Olympics.”
Yap will be captaining the 36-strong Singapore athletics contingent which is four times bigger than its 2014 team as they seek to do their country proud in front of their friends and family. In the previous edition, Singapore managed 1 silver and 1 bronze, courtesy of Hannah Lee in the shot put and discus events.
Catch the Yap, his teammates and other top athletes from around the region at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium from 14 July – 17 July.