Swimmer Toh Wei Soong hungry for more

Above: Han Liang Chou finally won a gold, in the 100m breaststroke SB14, on his third Asean Para Games appearance. Left: Toh Wei Soong on his way to capturing the 100m freestyle S8 gold in a personal best time of 1:05.46. It is the 17-year-old ACS(I)
Above: Han Liang Chou finally won a gold, in the 100m breaststroke SB14, on his third Asean Para Games appearance.ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG
Above: Han Liang Chou finally won a gold, in the 100m breaststroke SB14, on his third Asean Para Games appearance. Left: Toh Wei Soong on his way to capturing the 100m freestyle S8 gold in a personal best time of 1:05.46. It is the 17-year-old ACS(I)
Above: Toh Wei Soong on his way to capturing the 100m freestyle S8 gold in a personal best time of 1:05.46. It is the 17-year-old ACS(I) student's debut in the APG and he has five more events to go.ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG

Singapore swimmer Toh Wei Soong might have won his first gold medal of his maiden Asean Para Games campaign - in Games record time, no less - but he certainly was not getting carried away.

Far from embarking on a high-five marathon at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, the 17-year-old was a picture of calm last night as he faced the media, shortly after winning the men's 100m freestyle S8.

"I don't want to be complacent. It's just a springboard for higher things. While I appreciate the victory, I'm still going to go as hard, even harder, for the rest of my events," said the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student.

Wei Soong won in a personal-best 1min 5.46sec, ahead of the Philippines' Ernie Gawilan (1:05.77) and Indonesia's Guntur (1:09.28). His previous best time was 1:08.39.

He did, however, let in on his feelings as he touched the wall to the delight of the home support.

"You can't describe the feeling, that sense of elation, surge of energy, when you see your name on the wall and hear your name being called out," said the teenager. "That was when I knew all my hard work had paid off... it's an amazing experience."

In his other event yesterday, he was eighth in the 100m breaststroke SB7. The swimmer, who is entered in seven events at the Games, credited his support system for helping him land a medal.

He said: "What I really think is responsible for my success is the support system around me - my family, friends, coaches and teachers, who gave me the support to push myself and to focus on the Games.

"That's what's really important and what helped me achieve this today."

Joining him in the gold-medal hunt yesterday was fellow teenager Han Liang Chou, who won the men's 100m breaststroke SB14.

Han, 19, who is making his third appearance at the biennial meet, clocked 1:19.06, out-touching Malaysia's Yoong Chung Wei (1:20.09) and team-mate Lawrence Tay (1:20.38).

Said Han, who has one silver and two bronzes from the last two Games: "I had cramps half-way through the swim but I didn't give up.

"I didn't know I'd won until I looked up at the board.

"I'm happy to have the home support, and to see my friends and family here. But I wasn't nervous as I managed to calm myself down before the race."

Chua Siang Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Teen Wei Soong hungry for more'. Print Edition | Subscribe