SINGAPORE: Three Singaporean women, one aim: to blaze a trail for their respective sport at the London Olympics. The trio are gymnast Lim Heem Wei, canoeist Geraldine Lee and weightlifter Helena Wong.
Lim Heem Wei is the first Singaporean gymnast to qualify for the Olympics. To gear up for the big show, the 22—year—old has been spending a lot of time training in China.
She said: "We can pump in the hours, where we stay. The gym is really near, so we get a lot more training hours, and I think, most importantly, it is very focused. There are no external distractions and interference."
Canoeist Geraldine Lee has also been clocking in the hours on the water. Geraldine, who is making her Olympic debut as well, shifted to a higher work rate in training once she got the nod from the Singapore National Olympic Council.
"Ever since then, we have gone for a training camp in Hungary. My coach has became stricter also, and the expectations are higher as well," the 25—year—old said.
24—year—old weightlifter Helena Wong will also be pioneering Singapore women’s weightlifting into a new era. Singapore has previously only entered male weightlifters in previous Olympics.
All three women are hoping to inspire future generations while improving their own sport.
Helena said: "I believe every athlete is as good as his or her last competition, so the Olympics being the biggest competition of all, would certainly give me very good sporting experience and its exposure would be unparalleled."
For Helena Wong, she can look to veteran weight—lifter Tan Howe Liang, for inspiration. The 79—year—old is a household name in Singapore, especially during the Olympic season, as he is the country’s first Olympic medallist. He had won a silver medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics.