Teenager Ritchie narrowly loses gold to Thai paralympian
Shooter Ritchie, 16, just pipped to gold by Thai paralympian
He took a deep breath, clenching his fist before the television camera started rolling, but that should come as little surprise.
Only 16, Ritchie Chan is taking part in his first Asean Para Games (APG), and media scrutiny is a new experience which will take some getting used to.
But staring down the barrel of his rifle at Yishun Safra yesterday, Ritchie appeared to be stifled by none of those nerves.
He bagged a silver medal in the R1 men's 10m Air Rifle Standing (SH1) with a score of 194.6 and, for a while in the elimination final, he held the lead ahead of eventual winner, Thailand paralympian Phiraphong Buengbok (197.1).
Mala Sihabandit of Thailand won the bronze with his score of 174.7.
To think that the 10m standing is not even Ritchie's pet event - he is more focused on the prone discipline.
After spending a mere three months training for the event, Ritchie's performance against an experienced opponent who has participated at the Paralympics and World Championships augurs well for the future.
His response after winning silver hinted at a hunger for more success?
"I did my best, but it could have been better, especially those last few shots," said Ritchie, who surrendered the lead to his Thai opponent only in the last two shots, as the watching crowd clapped in unison before the firers let fly.
He seemed to quicken the pace of his firing then.
"The clapping distracted me a little," said the North View Secondary School student affected by spina bifida, of the excitement near the end.
But the smile did not leave his face.
Indeed, it grew broader as shooting officials accompanying him revealed just how short a training regimen Ritchie underwent for the event.
He drew confidence from the potential that he has already shown in the sport, with a silver in his first competitive outing on his APG debut already an icing on the cake.
It was a showing that drew praise from gold medallist Phiraphong, who competed at the 2012 London Paralympics.
"Your Singaporean shooter did better in the first half of the final, then made (mistakes) later," the Thai said through a translator.
"It is an opportunity for shooters in the region to meet and compete, and I would be happy if maybe (more shooters from Asean) can compete (at a higher level) in Europe in the future," he added of his aspirations for the sport in the region.
Ritchie, who also won a silver in the mixed 10m air rifle at the 2015 National Disability Games, has one more event to go - the R3 mixed 10m air rifle prone (SH1) - and don't be surprised if he hits the bullseye again to go one better and strike gold.