NSF Ryan Lo delivers on promise of winning two sailing golds
Sailor, 20, meets two-gold target he set for SEA Games
Never say that Ryan Lo is not a man of his words.
Before the SEA Games, the 20-year-old national serviceman had boldly stated his intention to win two gold medals in a SingaporeSailing video.
Yesterday, Lo accomplished his mission in Langkawi, where he won the Laser Standard event despite finishing second in the medal race.
"The medal race was very close and intense, and anyone could have won it," said Lo, who also won the Laser Standard team racing title with Mark Wong and Bernie Chin last week.
"I did not need to win the race, but I had to prevent the Malaysian (Khairulnizam Afendy) from finishing at least two boats ahead of me.
Lo led the five-boat field with 10 points going into the last day of racing yesterday, followed by Malaysia's Khairulnizam (14 points) and Thailand's Keerati Bualong (15 points).
The Thai won the medal race, and finished second overall, while Khairulnizam clinched the bronze.
"I am really happy and grateful for all who have supported me in this long journey," said Lo.
"I want to thank God, my parents, my teammates... and the list goes on."
Lo's teammate Jillian Lee also earned a gold medal yesterday, when she won the women's Laser Radial event.
The 21-year-old National University of Singapore accountacy undergraduate won six of her seven races earlier in the regatta, and was second in the only race she didn't win.
Like Lo, SEA Games debutante Lee did not have to win the medal race to clinch the gold.
"I went into the medal race with a different set of targets - all I had to do was not to finish last and that was my focus," said Lee, who was second in the medal race, which carried double the number of points.
While she had sailed at higher-level regattas before, such as the European Laser Radial Youth Championships in 2014 and the Laser Radial Youth Worlds in 2013 - Lee said she was apprehensive about how she would fare against Malaysia's Nur Shazrin Mohamad Latif, who competed at last year's Rio Olympics.
Shazrin clinched the silver in the women's Laser Radial yesterday, while Thailand's Kanapan Pachatikapanya took the bronze.
Lee credited the months of training the Laser team underwent before the SEA Games for her dominance in the waters off Langkawi.
She said: "We have prepared and worked very hard for the Games, and the effort showed during the races.
"I am really happy with how the races went, and very happy to bring home the gold medal for Singapore.
Also, Singapore's Bernie Chin clinched a silver in the men's Laser Radial, while Max Victor Teo and Radiance Koh collected the bronze in the boys' and girls' Optimist respectively on the last day of the sailing competition.
The Republic clinched four golds, two silvers and five bronzes in total and are tied with Thailand on number of titles won.
Malaysia topped the sailing medal table with six golds, four silvers and four bronzes.
SingaporeSailing president Ben Tan said: "I am happy to see our sailors putting in their best effort, and their best was certainly what we needed of them given the light and shifty winds in Langkawi.
"Winning at the world stage is our goal - we have the Asian Games 12 months from now and we're already one year into the 2020 Olympic cycle.
"These Games are a barometer to assess if our bigger plans are on track.
"At these Games, some of our sailors held their own against competitors who have competed in multiple Olympics."