Why did you choose track and field as your sports passion?
I was pushed into track by my primary school teacher who at the time saw my potential in running during one of the road races we had. At the time, I wasn’t interested because I was in football CCA, and I was actually pretty good as a defender. Track and field club in primary school was an invite only thing and I turned down his invitation for 2 years straight. Then one day he told me that football was being cancelled so I may as well join Track, so I did. I later found out that he lied but honestly, I have no regrets, I excelled in track, and I had a lot of fun.
What inspired you to get into this specific sport?
I briefly stopped running during secondary school but took it up again in Poly. I didn’t do it as a “I want to re-live my glory days”. I just missed running and training at the track. I specifically became a sprinter because the break I had taken in between had caused me to lose my stamina for distance running. I took up 400 meters because it was the perfect mix of distance and sprints and a whole lot of pain and misery. It was also partly because If I did do well, I would want to return to my primary school again and visit my teacher and make him proud.
You have to juggle between your academics, passion, and social life, how do you manage your time?
To be honest, I learnt quick that success requires sacrifice. I gave up my social life almost completely, I don’t really talk to a lot of people unless it’s to make a joke. As for school, I try and manage my time well, avoiding school isn’t really an option so it can be tough at times, especially during examination periods. I don’t do anything specific; I just go with the flow and try and manage the stress.
Who has been instrumental in supporting you on this journey? How has he/she done so?
My coach and my mom. Coach always motivates me whenever something may not go as planned, like for example if a time trial goes bad she will always message me or speak to me to let me know about the progress we’ve been making and how its nothing to be demotivated about and to keep going and it always helps. Furthermore, coach’s commitment to my training always keeps me going. My mom is my biggest backer and supporter both emotionally and financially. She’s been there throughout supporting me in my track career and choices since I took it up again in Poly. She’s always checking whether I’m improving and always encouraging me to keep going.
You’ve participated in many competitions, what have you learnt about yourself while training?
I learnt that I can actually work very hard. I was never really good at school because I never enjoyed it and because of that I just assumed that I will never be as successful as my peers. I enjoy training sessions, I like the thrill of competing and track is generally fun, regardless of the pain, vomiting and headaches from some of the sessions. The amount of commitment I put into it is something which I never really expected from someone like myself and even my mom always brings it up whenever we’re catching up with other family friends. I also learnt that I have a lot of potential because I am making pretty good improvement when there’s still so much I can do to better myself, but to be honest that’s just a learning experience.
What does thriving mean to you?
Thriving is when someone excels at something which they enjoy. Thriving for me would be when someone is in their zone and performing really well, while being able to keep going and showing success and improvement at a rapid rate.