Singapore sailor Yap dominates at the Asean Para Games
Sailor's switch to single-handed class pays off handsomely
The 8th Asean Para Games was sailor Yap Qian Yin's first major outing in a single-handed class, and she revelled in the competition, winning the women's Hansa 2.3 title at Marina Bay yesterday.
The 25-year-old (right), who won nine out of the 10 races, admitted she initially had "a lot of doubts" about competing in a single-handed category, especially when many questioned the move.
"They were telling me I may not be ready, and that I may not be able to win gold," Yap recalled.
"But, in the end, I had to just go and do my best and try to do well.
"I have to be very thankful for the people around me, like my team manager, coaches, family and friends - as well as my fellow Singaporeans, who came down to cheer and give me such good support."
Despite a successful outing at the Games, she is in no hurry to commit permanently to the single-handed class.
"Perhaps yes, but I will have to take one thing at a time," said Yap, who clinched the Republic's first Asian Para Games gold with teammate Jovin Tan in the double-handed event in Incheon, South Korea, last year.
"In sailing, and also in life, nothing is for sure; you cannot take any shortcuts.
"So I'll just take one thing at a time, and see how I manage."
Sailors had to wait more than six hours yesterday due to the lack of wind and races eventually got underway in the late afternoon.
Aaron Per bagged the bronze medal in the men's Hansa 2.3, while Tan and debutant Anthony Teo's triumph in the two-person Hansa 303 event gave Singapore its second sailing gold.
For 71-year-old Teo, who is Team Singapore's oldest athlete at the Games, there was "no word" that could describe the feeling of victory.
He said: "I feel fantastic. Exuberant.
"I think it's very exciting, but because of my age I think I'm immune to this type of feeling."
Partner and two-time Paralympian Tan, who has already qualified for next year's Rio Paralympic Games, added: "I'm very happy, because we created history.
"There is bound to be a bit of disagreement in a partnership, and I'm very aggressive on the water, so sometimes my tone may have been too harsh.
"So I really respect Anthony because he really worked well with me, despite the short period of time that we trained together."
Teo quipped: "These young people are very kind to me."
When asked if he would consider competing in the next Games, he said: "I'll be 73. Will I consider it?