Ng's Korean stint pays offF

Speed skater sets surprise PB to win 1,500m silver in Asian meet, gets bronze in 1,000m

Singapore's Lucas Ng won a silver and a bronze at the two-day Asian Open Short Track Speed Skating Trophy, which concluded in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old clocked a personal-best 2min 21.89sec to finish second in the senior men's 1,500m event on Tuesday, behind South Korea's Kim Min Souk (2:19.77).

His previous best was 2:23.66, which he clocked last December.

Chinese Taipei's Lin Xian-yu took the bronze with 2:25.51.

Ng then finished third in the senior men's 1,000m on Wednesday in 1:37.69, with Chinese Taipei's Su Jun-peng (1:35.90) and Lin (1:37.38) taking the top two spots. He was fourth in the senior men's 500m on Tuesday, in 50.79sec.

"I did not expect to do a personal best; I was just too focused on the race, which was really fast-paced," Ng told The Straits Times in a phone interview from Bangkok.

"The fact that I was chasing (Kim) was definitely a factor for my timing, but I have also improved on my technique and capabilities over the past few months of training in South Korea."

Ng also competed in the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur in August, when he won silver medals in the 1,000m and the 3,000m relays, despite severing a tendon in his right hand in a training accident just before the Games.

He returned to South Korea to train after the biennial Games.

Other than Ng, Singapore's Axel Ng, 17, finished sixth in the junior A men's 1,500m event in 2:54.41, and seventh in the junior A men's 500m event in 52.35. Both are personal bests.

The competition attracted 86 skaters from nine countries, competing in five age divisions.

In a press statement, Singapore Ice Skating Association president Sonja Chong said: "Short track speed skating is gaining popularity in South-east Asia and I am especially pleased that our young skaters from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines are stepping up to compete at the Asian level.

"Seeing our South-east Asian skaters compete against those from the dominant Asian countries is indeed an inspiration to our junior athletes."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2017, with the headline 'Ng's Korean stint pays off'. Print Edition | Subscribe