Team Singapore

Sailor Victoria Chan’s comeback goal: To qualify for Olympics

2011 SEA Games champ will be using this edition to see where she stands

Four years on from her last competition, 2011 SEA Games sailing gold medallist Victoria Chan will make a comeback at this edition in the Philippines and, already, the 29-year-old has set lofty ambitions for herself.

She played down the possibilities of marking her comeback with another gold, but instead wants to use the Nov 30-Dec 11 Games to fulfil her dream of qualifying for the Olympics for the first time.

The Asian leg of the Olympic qualifiers are in March.

Speaking to The New Paper at her training base in PAssion WaVe @ East Coast, Chan said: "Definitely, in any competition that you represent Singapore, you want to do your best and bring glory for the nation.

"But, for me, the Games are more like a stepping stone to the Olympics.

"I want to qualify for the Olympics, that's the goal for me. So, this is a great event for me to see where I'm at in that regard."

She last competed in the 2015 Games in Singapore, where she clinched a silver in the individual Laser Radial event, the same category that she will be competing in at this edition.

After the 2015 SEA Games, Chan decided to take a break from sailing to undergo surgery on a longstanding ligament injury in her left wrist.

It was also then that she joined the People's Association. She is now a manager at the PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay Lifeskills & Lifestyle Division.

Chan pointed to two reasons for deciding to return to competitive sailing last June.

She said: "My company has been supportive of my interest and this gave me more motivation to try out for the Games.

"They've allowed me flexibility in my work schedule, and I am able to put in at least 16 hours of training (a week) whilst still working.

"With their backing, I felt really supported in my pursuit to make a comeback."

She also admitted to missing the spirit of competition. While her work allows her to be involved with various water sport activities, it was not quite the same for someone who learnt the sport when she was just nine.

"How I would describe this sport to someone who doesn't know much about it is that it allows you to be exposed to the open elements of the sea, where conditions are constantly changing.

MAKE OWN DECISIONS

"You don't hear your coaches out in the sea and you have to make your own decisions and persevere... I love that.

"Even just coming back is satisfying and I want to focus on the process of improving."

While she is eagerly looking forward to the sailing competition at Subic Bay, Chan is aware of what to expect from the competition there and she's been hard in training.

She said: "I know I have to train hard because, while I was out of the sport, the others have been training and improving.

"Malaysia and Thailand have Olympians taking part, so it's not going to be easy.

"But I want to see where I stand against the pack."

Team Singapore