Written by : Leong Jia Qin
Photo by: Ron Chuah
Amanda Lim Xiang Qi, who clinched her second gold medal of the meet, finishing the 50m freestyle race in 25.7sec.
University life is always a phase where every student has the best time of their lives. Being a typical undergraduate would see a school experience filled with academic and social life; however, a student athlete would be unable to say the same.
Over at the OCBC Aquatic Centre on 15 July 2016, our Singapore swimmers Amanda Lim Xiang Qi, Lionel Khoo Chien Yin and Danny Yeo Kai Quan splashed towards the finishing line and won a gold medal each in the women’s 50m Freestyle event, men’s 200m individual medley and men’s 200m freestyle final events respectively. They shared their experiences and motivations as to how they balance their training sessions and studies.
23-year old Amanda has been under strenuous and rigid training since her days in the Singapore Sports School, thus coping with her current training regiment proved to be simply another routine to follow.
The final year Sports Science and Management major student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) shares, “We have a strict timetable and every morning, I train from 5.30am to 7.30am. In the afternoon I go for my second training session at 3.00pm, and then back to school again to get some work done. I guess that really got me into the routine of being very disciplined and motivated.”
Recounting her early beginnings in swimming, Amanda shared that it started when she picked up the sport to cope with asthma as a child. With encouragement from her uncle, she joined a swimming club and her career in the pool took off from there.
For Lionel, a freshman in the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Business, the key factor to staying focused is through goal-setting. Along with his parents and coaches, he would take the time out before every school term to establish his goals for the season, which has evidently paid off with his gold medal this AUG.
Brimming with high hopes and excitement, Lionel will be striving to be one of in the top 10 swimmers internationally.
Also from SMU is Danny, who has been swimming for more than a decade. The 26-year old final year business student says, “I practice ten times a week and I still have to juggle between school. Sometimes I have to sacrifice my social life too.”
Despite these difficulties, Danny gives thanks to his ever-supportive parents, classmates and friends who have been understanding throughout his journey thus far.
Danny also attributes his source of motivation to his father, who had passed away two years ago. “My dad used to love swimming, and he was good friends with Ang Peng Siong. So, me doing what I am doing now is a way of remembering him.”
When asked about the future of swimming in Singapore, all three of them reveal positive aspirations for young swimmers. “Today, we have swimmers that can compete with Michael Phelps and we have people who know that we’re from Singapore instead of China,” Amanda proudly shares.
With such a talented pool of potential swimmers today, it is clear that the only way for Singapore swimming to move is forward.