It was hardly a stroll for Sheik in his 1993 SEA Games silat win
It is the most cherished of Sheik Alau'ddin's four South-east Asia (SEA) Games gold medals.
He also owns two world titles, but that win on home soil in 1993 stands out for the silat icon, perhaps because the journey to glory was hardly a straightforward one.
He was one of three Singapore SEA Games stars selected to sit down with The New Paper for a Chinese New Year series talking about their exploits and, just like football hero Quah Kim Lye and sprinter U K Shyam, Sheik's tale was a compelling one.
The 47-year-old took TNP back 22 years and said with a smile: "I remember everything so well. Just 10 days before the silat event was scheduled to start, I injured myself very badly.
"I was then working (as a fitness co-ordinator) at the HDB (Housing and Development Board) and I was one of their torchbearers as the country built up to the Games.
"As luck would have it, during my run, I rolled over my ankle and it became badly swollen."
Sheik chuckled, recalling how his coaches tried everything to make sure he was ready to defend the gold he'd won in 1991 in Manila.
One sworn by a traditional massage, aggressively kneaded his injured ankle.
Another insisted the best way was a "modern" approach - and proceeded to give his ankle several jolts of low-voltage electricity.
Even his mother-in-law got involved in the rehabilitation process.
"She put crushed serai (lemongrass) on my ankle, because people in the olden days believed that was the best way to reduce swelling," he said.
"I remember marching into the National Stadium with Team Singapore during the opening ceremony, I had the crushed lemongrass strapped to my right ankle.
"I was trying to hide my injury, so I made sure my limp wasn't too obvious.
"But the pain wasn't the most irritating thing, it was the dampness from the crushed lemongrass that bothered me most!"
Many will call it kooky, but the remedy appeared to work.
Then weighing around 90kg, Sheik took part in the Open category, which allows any silat exponent over 65kg to compete.
His first match was against a Thai fighter who was 20kg lighter than him and, although he saw off the challenge without much fuss, he realised the next day that he had endured a fair amount of damage.
"During the match, he kept kicking my thigh, but I won thanks to my size, because I was able to throw him many times," said Sheik.
"But the next day when I woke up, I felt as if I could not walk. When I looked at my thigh, I was shocked to see a few red (welts) down the side. It was as though I had been caned!"
The scars soon went away and Sheik met a familiar rival in the semi-final, Malaysia's Azam Mokhtar.
"This Malaysian guy was funny," said Sheik.
"He faced me many times before and never managed to beat me, so I had the psychological advantage.
"And in the first and second round, I walloped him good. Then, before the third round, we shook hands and he told me: 'Eh, you won already. Don't hit so hard'.
"So I went a bit easier on him, but he started whacking me and I soon realised he was trying to make me complacent, and I managed to recover.
"I met him last month at the World Championships in Phuket as he was the coach of the Malaysian team and we had a good laugh over the incident."
Into the final, the only thing that stood between Sheik and the cherished gold was Indonesia's Iwayan Wirawan.
But, it wasn't the opponent that had Sheik a bit twitchy.
"There was quite a bit of pressure on me, because my final was one of the last events of the Games," he said.
"Before my final, the Singapore Sports Council (now Sport Singapore) people told me I had to win because they had planned to make me the flagbearer for the closing ceremony.
"Even Fandi Ahmad told me he was waiting for my gold medal to wrap up Team Singapore's total. So I was really fired up to win."
He didn't have much trouble defeating Iwayan and Sheik's feat helped Singapore hit the 50-gold mark, better their previous best of 45 when the country first hosted the Games in 1973.
The feat cemented his status as one of Singapore's sports stars, in an era where top sportsmen were stopped on the streets for autographs.
Football had Fandi. Swimming had Ang Peng Siong and Joscelin Yeo. Silat had Sheik.
Said Sheik: "It was a great feeling then.
"Not many people know this, but the camaraderie we had was great.
"When we went overseas for multi-sport tournaments, we always supported one another in every way we could.
"I remember the whole silat squad went down to support table tennis player Jing Junhong in her final at the 1995 SEA Games.
"So when athletes from that era meet these days, it's always nice to talk about the good old days.
"And that's what I hope our athletes today will enjoy about June's SEA Games, too."
Sheik targets two golds in June
The last time the South-east Asia (SEA) Games were held here in 1993, pencak silat contributed two golds, five silvers and three bronze medals to Singapore's overall medal haul.
While he is unsure if the sport will bring home 10 medals again when the 2015 SEA Games roll into town in June, Singapore Silat Federation (Persisi) chief Sheik Alau'ddin is targeting a local presence in four finals.
"It's hard to say how many we can win," he told The New Paper, on the sidelines of a national team training session at Persisi's headquarters in Bedok earlier in the week.
"The silat competition in 1993 saw a full complement of 24 categories. This time round, there are only 14.
"Of course, nothing is impossible. I'm looking at two golds - Alfian (Juma'en) and Shakir (Juanda) - and two others in the finals.
"That would be a good achievement."
Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Alfian, 18, is the reigning SEA Games champion in the Class F (70kg-75kg) category, after he beat then-world champion Pham Van Ty in the final.
Shakir (above, left), meanwhile, won the world title in the Class H (80-85kg) title at the 2012 World Championships.
Sheik, 47, was one of Singapore's two gold-medal winners 22 years ago, the other being Hidayat Hosni.
He stressed his athletes needed to positively channel the pressure of performing in front of a home crowd.
He recounted his own experience of having his wife - then five months' pregnant with the couple's first child - unexpectedly turn up during his final at the Yio Chu Kang Sports Hall against Indonesia's Iwayan Wirawan.
"Our guys should tell themselves this is a chance to show their countrymen that they are the real deal," said Sheik.
"Some people may still have doubts over your achievements, because all they see are newspaper articles or short clips on the internet. But this time, they can see for themselves.
"So our guys must use this, plus the fact their families and friends will be watching on and supporting them, as a motivation."
FARHAN WON'T COMPETE
Sheik is resigned to the fact his third son Sheik Farhan will not compete at the Games.
The 17-year-old shot to prominence last month after winning the Class J (90kg to 95kg) title at the Pencak Silat World Championship in Phuket.
But there will be no Class J category at the SEA Games and Farhan's name was not among the more than 900 nominations on the initial list of athletes released by the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) on Jan 26.
Sheik had hoped that writing in to higher authorities could result in a last-minute inclusion of the weight class.
But he said: "He's out already. I wrote a letter to (SNOC president and Manpower Minister) Tan Chuan-Jin and got the reply already. There's no way. I'm planning on making him (Farhan) one of our assistant coaches for the Games so, hopefully, he will still feel part of the team.
"Hopefully, that'll be approved."