Obituary

Athletics: Ex-athletics coach Lim dies at 69

Lim Boot Hiang, a two-time SEA Games long jump silver medallist, died of heart failure yesterday.
Lim Boot Hiang, a two-time SEA Games long jump silver medallist, died of heart failure yesterday.

Former national athletics coach Lim Boot Hiang died of heart failure yesterday. He was 69, and leaves behind his wife and two daughters.

Lim was the first local full-time coach to be employed by the Singapore Amateur Athletic Association (SAAA), the local governing body for the sport then.

A two-time SEA Games long jump silver medallist (1969 and 1971), Lim was known for grooming high jumper Wong Yew Tong, whose national record of 2.22m set at the 1995 SEA Games still stands today.

Wong, who came under Lim's tutelage when he was 14, credits the coach for his achievements which eventually earned him a spot at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Said Wong, now 45 and an associate director (student leadership) at Singapore Management University: "When I was done with training, he would be back in office to record what I'd done - how much I'd run and the weights I'd lifted.

"He would study that to prepare for my training programmes and refined my jumping techniques. He was so meticulous and detailed.

"After morning training, he would take me out for lunch. In the afternoon, he would tell me to take a nap before training again.

"What people see are the records, but what they cannot tell is the strong foundation that he's built."

Singapore Athletics (SA) president Tang Weng Fei felt that Lim was a role model for the current generation of athletes. He said: "Athletes of that generation showed their strong passion. I hope that the younger athletes can also learn to contribute in many ways, even after they retire from competition."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2016, with the headline 'Ex-athletics coach Lim dies at 69'. Print Edition | Subscribe