Triple jumper Tseng eyes SEA Games redemption on home turf
Some do it for honour and glory, others do it as a springboard to bigger things or as a glittering curtain call to their sporting careers.
But triple jumper Stefan Tseng has a different motivation for June's South-east Asia (SEA) Games on home ground - redemption.
The Loughborough University biology undergraduate, who turns 25 on Wednesday, had considered hanging up his spikes after two meets in the UK last May.
He had been in pain, despite undergoing an ankle surgery in March 2013, and recorded just 14.8 metres at the Loughborough International, his final meet last year.
"My results were so embarrassing. I might have been carrying an injury, but that was not good enough an excuse," said Tseng, who has been back since last Monday to do his dissertation.
"There is no excuse to go under 15 metres, and I didn't want to end my athletics career that way."
The fact that Singapore is hosting the biennial Games after 22 years also convinced him to go under the knife again last September to fix his ankle injury.
"I have never competed in such a big meet in Singapore; I didn't even compete in the National Schools finals when I was at the Sports School because I was always competing overseas then," said Tseng, who transferred from St Joseph's Institution to the Singapore Sports School in 2004.
Tseng, whose last SEA Games was in Palembang in 2011, is one step closer to competing at the National Stadium.
He is in the Singapore National Olympic Council's provisional SEA Games contingent list, released last week.
Tseng, Khan Meng Linn and Dylan Wong are shortlisted for two spots, and the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) will decide by April 2, although other jumpers who meet the qualifying standard before the deadline may also make the final cut.
Tseng knows his place in the contingent is far from certain, and aims to record a respectable distance at the SAA Track and Field Series 2 on Feb 14 and 15, before returning to the UK to finish his final exams.
Retirement is a distinct possibly for the national-record holder (16.04m, 2009) after the SEA Games, and he will not look back at his career with any regrets.
"I knew from the start that if I wanted to excel in sports, I would have to give up something, like my studies, and I was not willing to do that," said Tseng, who finished fourth in the 2007 World Youth Championships.
"I have competed at the SEA Games and the World Youths, and competing on home ground seems like a good way to end it.
"I may not win the gold, but I want to put in a performance that I can be proud of - a decent performance to also thank my parents for all the support they've given me all these years."