If there is a favourite god of athletes then it might be Janus, after whom January is ostensibly named. He is the Roman god of gates and doorways and this month more than any other symbolises an entry into another world. A new year begins, new chances come, new goals are set. Last year swimmer Amanda Lim was 0.03 of a second away from a personal best in the 50m freestyle. This year, she says, she will invest hours to chase that fraction.
The holidays are over. Cold water in the pool beckons. The sun awaits at the track. Joseph Schooling practised on Christmas Day and New Year's Day and he has to if he wants to fulfil his goal of three butterfly golds at the Asian Games. Marathoner Soh Rui Yong's New Year gift from his coach was a 16km run. Welcome to 2018, buddy.