Sailor Lo targets two golds at SEA Games
Sailor aims to win both the Laser Standard individual and team events
He has been juggling full-time national service and sailing for about a year, but that has not stopped Ryan Lo from aiming big at the upcoming SEA Games in Malaysia.
The 20-year-old is aiming to win both events that he is competing in - the Laser Standard individual and team events.
"I am decently confident (of my medal hopes)," said Lo at SingaporeSailing's SEA Games team presentation event at the Monti restaurant at Marina Bay yesterday.
"I am not focusing on what other people are doing, just on myself. I am not thinking of the result, but focusing on the tiny details."
"I am confident that I will be able to perform to my fullest potential," added the 2015 Games silver medallist in the Laser Standard team event.
Fellow Laser sailor Colin Cheng, who is taking a break from competitive sailing, has been training younger Laser sailors such as Lo and Bernie Chin on weekends.
Cheng said: "Ryan is better than when I was at his age. If he continues on this path, the future is bright."
Lo is among eight sailors in this 21-strong SEA Games team with Games experience.
The team's average age is 17 years old.
While Lo boldly stated his medal ambitions in one of three videos SingaporeSailing produced to promote their athletes at the Games, the federation's president Dr Ben Tan declined to set a medal target for the entire team.
He said: "One of the sports psychology principles that we apply is always to control what you can control.
"Therefore, our message to them is to plan their races, put in the hard work and plan the training. What is beyond your control, don't worry about it.
"To set targets would be counter-productive."
Singapore were the top sailing nation at the 2015 edition, winning 14 golds in 20 events.
The Malaysia Games will offer 14 events, with the competition taking place in Langkawi.
Tan, a former national sailor, acknowledged that the Singaporeans' results against regional opponents have been a "wake-up call".
For example, Malaysian sailors took the top two spots in the Laser Radial fleet at the Singapore National Sailing Championships in June.
Also, Malaysian and Thai sailors performed better than their Singapore counterparts in various categories at the Optimist World Championships in Thailand last month.
Tan said: "Results in benchmarking events, we take seriously and, to us, it is a wake-up call, a learning point.
"(But) as a competitive sailor, ultimately it's the actual race that counts. What happens before doesn't really matter."
Optimist sailor and Games debutant Finian Lee concurred with Tan's assessment.
The 14-year-old said: "We see different levels of skills at different Worlds, and this one was definitely difficult for us.
"The Singapore team are generally a heavy team, so the lighter sailors had a speed advantage over us.
"But I am confident that we have trained hard and our technique was better, just that we need to refine some things.
"We definitely can beat them because we are smarter and have more knowledge (over our opponents). I am very sure of that."