Why champ Hanreuchai took up archery
There were hugs and handshakes all round, as Thailand's Hanreuchai Netsiri celebrated his men's individual recurve open gold medal at yesterday's final day of archery action at the Kallang Cricket Field.
For the wheelchair-bound 36-year-old (right), it was just reward for those eight-hour, six-time-a-week training sessions he and the team had gone through over the past four months.
But his pride soon turned into embarrassment when he revealed the reason for choosing archery nine years ago.
With a wry grin, he told The New Paper: "I started because, whenever I saw people doing archery, I thought they looked very handsome.
"That was the reason I picked it up. But I've been working hard ever since. I've come a long way and this is now my third Asean Para Games."
A dominant Hanreuchai, who also won gold at the 2013 World Archery Para Championships, shot six 10s en route to his 111-77 final win over compatriot Boonyarit Chaipoon.
Earlier, he had combined with Wasana Khutawisap to beat Myanmar's Zar Nyi Lin and Thu Zar Htay in the mixed team recurve final, before his partner saw off Indonesian Veronica Ninik Umardyani to win the women's individual recurve open.
After seeing his team complete a clean sweep of golds yesterday, Thailand coach Prayad Mookda-On believes it was a result of their hard work.
"We're always satisfied to pick up any medal but, of course, the target is to win as many golds as possible," said Prayad.
"They have trained so much for this and it's a deserving victory."
But he and his charges are aiming higher.
Wasana, who refused to let the sweltering heat at the archery range affect her, said: "I'm happy with my display at these Games.
"Now, my aim is to secure a medal in the mixed team recurve at next year's Paralympics."
"Wasana is a silver medallist at the World and Asian Championships, while Hanreuchai won gold at the 2013 World Archery Para Championships," added Prayad.
"We will be going for a gold medal in the mixed team recurve at the 2016 Paralympics."