Despite the pressures of an international competition, two canoe sprinters beat 16 teams to clinch the gold medal at the 19th International Canoe Federation (ICF) Canoe Marathon world Championships in October.
Raymond Tan, 18, a second-year Financial Informatics student and Lee Jia En, 18, a second-year Tourism and Resort
Management student, brought pride to Singapore and NP by winning the gold medal in the Asian K2 Junior Men’s category
At that time, Raymond had two year’s worth of experience in canoeing, while Jia En had five.
However, both were trained for sprinting, not marathons.
“We did not expect to win because there were a lot of good teams around, so we were really surprised!” says Raymond.
The competition saw 16 pairs of paddlers from various countries competing in six different race categories, in the area between the Marina Bay Reservoir and the Benjamin Sheares Bridge.
“Initially, it was quite difficult because the other European teams started off much faster and we had to keep up,” he adds. “There were a few Duck Tours boats that were cruising around and this caused the waters to be choppy,” Jia En shares.
Their preparations for the competition started from July. They trained 11 times a week, from Monday to Saturday.
Says Mr Noel Koh, 27, staff advisor of the NP Canoeing Club, “This is really a job well done since the training schedule was a
demanding and tiresome process. Overcoming their difficulties enabled them to achieve success ultimately.
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