SINGAPORE: Just one week after his standout performance at the recent London Olympics, Singapore sailor Colin Cheng has already set his sights for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Cheng, who finished as Asia’s top sailor and also recorded the best Olympics performance by a Singaporean, is planning to train full time for two years in preparation for the Rio Olympics.
Cheng said: "I will be doing school and studies and hopefully, I can link up with my coach again for the next campaign, but we haven’t fully discussed that. (I will) slowly build up and most likely go full time two years into the Olympic Games."
He added: "If you want a medal at the next Games, you need to be consistently in the top three for at least the two years leading into the Games."
Cheng spent one year training in Australia ahead of the London Games and it paid off with his stellar performance.
At 22 years of age, Cheng is just hitting top form as some of the world’s top sailors have become champions even in their late thirties.
And now, the Singapore Sailing Federation is looking at sending him across to the tougher European circuit.
It will be a harder challenge but Cheng knows the sacrifices will eventually pay dividends.
Apart from table tennis, sailing is poised to be Singapore’s next best bet for a medal at Rio 2016.
Singapore Sailing Federation’s chief executive officer, Tan Wearn Haw, said: "The next step is to be in the top ten (followed by) the medal race. The final step is to be within medal striking distance which could be within the top six or top eight in the world."
He added: "But that’s what we can do as a system. We bring them within medal striking distance and they have to have the week of their life to win a medal at the Olympic Games."