Powerlifting: Yaps lead Singapore to fruitful medal haul in powerlifting meet

Matthew (left) and Marcus Yap combined for four gold medals apiece at the Asia/Oceania Powerlifting Championships held in Christchurch. Each of the 14-strong contingent claimed medals at the meet.
Matthew (left) and Marcus Yap combined for four gold medals apiece at the Asia/Oceania Powerlifting Championships held in Christchurch. Each of the 14-strong contingent claimed medals at the meet.PHOTO COURTESY OF MARCUS YAP

Singapore has enjoyed a bountiful harvest at the Asia/Oceania Powerlifting Championships, with the entire contingent, led by brothers Marcus and Matthew Yap, all winning medals.

In total, the 14-strong team bagged 13 golds, 18 silvers and 18 bronzes at the annual meet this year.

The charge was spearheaded by Marcus, a 22-year-old full-time national serviceman. He returned home yesterday from the Dec 5-10 meet in Christchurch, New Zealand, with not just four gold medals, but a world record to his name as well.

In the men's under-59kg open category, he clinched the squat (196kg), bench (117.5kg) and deadlift (222.5kg) golds, combining for a Junior (from 19 to 23-year-old) world record total of 536kg.

His younger brother Matthew, a 17-year-old Outram Secondary School student, enjoyed a fine performance too.

Competing in the men's Under-66kg sub-junior (14-to 18-year-olds) category, Matthew swept the squat (197kg), bench (123kg) and deadlift (210kg) gold medals. He also earned the overall gold medal and set a new Asian sub-junior record total of 530kg.

At last year's edition in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, a five-member contingent won seven golds, four silvers and three bronzes.

Zulhairy Zolkaffeli, president of Powerlifting Singapore, said: "This time round, every single one of the 14 representatives medalled and (we had) many more Asian and world records broken.

"Some of our athletes went up against big names and still managed to put up a good fight, with some even outperforming them.

"Most of our athletes, 10 of them, were first-timers on the international scene but their inexperience didn't show on the competition platform.

"It inspired them even more to do their best. You will definitely see more of them in competitive powerlifting for a very long time."

Singapore will host next year's edition of the competition.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2016, with the headline 'Yaps lead Singapore to fruitful medal haul in powerlifting meet'. Print Edition | Subscribe