Yeo and Lim make hay in table tennis
Paddlers finish on podium together after one introduced the sport to the other
They were involved in separate motorbike accidents 10 years ago, and suffered devastating injuries as both were paralysed from the chest down.
Yesterday at the OCBC Arena, table tennis players Aaron Yeo and Stanley Lim celebrated triumph over adversity, when both made it to the podium, claiming silver and bronze respectively, in the men's singles Class 1 event at the Asean Para Games.
Thailand's gold medallist Nipon Theptoranee separated them on the podium, but it hardly dampened the spirits of the two Singaporeans.
It was Lim who introduced Yeo to the sport earlier this year.
Yeo, a 36-year-old artist, said: "He came to visit me as part of the quadriplegic support group and told me, 'Come and play lah'.
"Even though I used to play table tennis during primary school, I was like, 'I can't even hold a bat, how to play?'
"But I saw how they strapped the bat to their hands and when I tried it myself, it brought back a lot of good memories and I loved it."
Yeo beat Lim 3-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-8) to win the silver but his teammate didn't mind.
"I was also introduced to table tennis by another friend from the quadriplegic support group," the 38-year-old part-time trader told The New Paper.
"We have become very good friends over the years - we are drinking buddies and we travel together.
"We want to show others that support is very important. We improve together and there are no hard feelings."
The duo paid tribute to the help of the support staff for the table tennis team's unprecedented success at the Games, after they collected one gold, three silvers and three bronzes.
The table tennis competition ended yesterday and Thailand topped the sport's medal tally with 17 golds, five silvers and 16 bronzes.
In the final events yesterday, Singapore's Evelyn Lim won silver in the women's singles Class 11 event, while Jason Chee and Eric Ting took silver and bronze, respectively, in the men's singles Class 2 event.
Yeo, who had earlier won gold in the men's team Class 1-2 event with Chee, Ting and Darren Chua, hopes that the national paddlers' success will help garner more support for the para sport.
He said: "The Singapore Sports Institute has been a great help, and the coaches have been amazing.
"The Singapore Disability Sports Council has given us great support to set up a training area in the SSI, which is air-conditioned.
"This is important because I have lost the ability to perspire and so I heat up very easy. The air-conditioned environment helps us to train better.
"We hope to get more funding, exposure and take part in more tournaments.
"I'm thankful I've played in my first overseas tournaments in Taiwan and Belgium this year... that helped me get this far and win a medal for the country.
"I hope more people can also join us in the quadriplegic support group and play table tennis with us whether competitively or as therapy."