Swimmer Mikkel makes a splash with golden double
Standing at 1.82 metres, the lanky teenager stands out from the crowd.
Yesterday, Mikkel Lee was head and shoulders above his opponents in the swimming pool after striking gold in the boys' 50m butterfly and 4x100m freestyle relay at the 9th Asean Schools Games.
The 15-year-old clocked a personal best of 25.45 seconds to clinch gold in the 50m fly, beating Maurice Sacho Ilustre of the Philippines by 0.16sec at the Singapore Sports School.
He then followed that up by leading his 4x100m free relay teammates - Daryl Tan, Chua Wei Feng and Samuel Tang - to victory over the Thais, in a time of 3min 33.56sec.
"I feel really proud, standing on the podium was a feeling that I can't describe," said the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student, who also won a silver medal in the 100m freestyle last Saturday.
"Last week during training, I was posting decent times so I felt good coming into the race.
"I focused on my own race and just raced against the clock."
With three more races - the 50m backstroke, 50m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay - coming up tomorrow, Mikkel can't afford to rest on his laurels until the end of the competition.
Said Mikkel, whose medal tally at this competition stands at two golds and one silver: "I know I can swim with this form until the last day of competition.
"I'm swimming seven events, so I will do my best to be in full fitness for every race."
Mikkel's teammate, Samuel, revealed that words of encouragement from the father of Singapore's first and only Olympic champion Joseph Schooling ignited his fighting spirit during the 4x100m freestyle relay final.
During the opening ceremony last week, Colin Schooling had told Samuel to show respect for his opponents, but to not fear anyone.
“I know I can swim with this form until the last day of competition.”Mikkel Lee
Samuel, the anchor swimmer, did just that, helping his team to beat Thailand to the wall by a mere 0.2sec.
Said 17-year-old Samuel: "I knew we had a great shot at the gold medal.
"I saw how close the guy (from Thailand) was in the last lap so I swam as fast as I could.
"During the opening ceremony, Colin Schooling said, 'Respect your opponents but fear nobody'.
"That inspired me to believe in myself and the team, and I'm really glad to have won gold for Singapore."
Singapore's swimmers also clinched two silvers in the girls' 50m butterfly and 4x100m freestyle relay, and two bronzes in the boys' and girls' 200m breaststroke yesterday.
The Republic have won four golds, eight silvers and seven bronzes in swimming so far.
Meanwhile, Singapore's badminton boys' team claimed a silver medal yesterday, after losing 3-0 to Malaysia in the final.
It is the Republic's best finish in the sport since the inception of the Games in 2009.
In the bowling doubles event, Singapore's pair of Aidan Poh and Jarred Lim won the boys' gold medal with 2,766 pinfalls, while their female counterparts Jenna Princess Jennifer and Chan Jing Wen took bronze with 2,297 pinfalls.
Malaysia swept both the gold and silver medals.
In an all-Singaporean table tennis mixed doubles final, Gerald Yu and Goi Rui Xuan beat teammates Dominic Koh and Liu Sijia 3-1. - ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JOLENE ANG