Obituary: National shooter Poh Lip Meng dies aged 52

lcobit24 - National shooter Poh Lip Meng died in the early hours of Thursday (Dec 23) after suffering a heart attack. He was 52. Credit: Sport Singapore
Poh Lip Meng had collapsed during a jog and was taken to Changi General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. PHOTO: SPORT SINGAPORE
lcobit24 - National shooter Poh Lip Meng died in the early hours of Thursday (Dec 23) after suffering a heart attack. He was 52. Credit: Sport Singapore
Poh Lip Meng joined the national team in 2002. PHOTO: SPORT SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - National shooter and Commonwealth Games champion Poh Lip Meng died on Wednesday (Dec 22) evening. He was 52.

The Straits Times understands he had collapsed during a jog and was taken to Changi General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Poh has a daughter Yu Ting, 14, and a son, Yu Hao, 20, who is also a national shooter. The father-son duo competed together at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Poh, who joined the national team in 2002, had been selected for next year's SEA Games in Hanoi in the 25m rapid fire pistol.

Besides winning the 50m free pistol gold at the Southeast Asian Shooting Championship in 2014, he helped Singapore clinch the team gold in the same event at the 2015 SEA Games on home soil.

Poh and Gai Bin captured the gold medal in the 25m standard pistol at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.

The pair and Nigel Lim then clinched a historic bronze in the 25m standard pistol team event at the 2014 Asian Games. They were the first men to earn a medal in a pistol event in the 63-year history of the Republic's participation at the Asiad.

Lim, 42, has known Poh since 2008. He said: "When I first joined the national team, I thought he was scary because he's a senior but once you get to know him, you realise he jokes a lot and everyone loves hanging out with him.

"He's the best so I followed whatever he did, especially when I was new. He has influenced us a lot because he leads by example.

"Whenever we have problems with our shooting or guns or even outside of shooting, he's always there for us and the first thing to do is look for Poh because he's very dependable."

Fellow pistol shooter Teo Shun Xie recalled how Poh would make the effort to welcome newcomers into the team.

When she joined 16 years ago, he would invite her for lunch, play pranks on her or make jokes, all of which helped her feel more comfortable.

Teo, 33, said: "When you're first invited to join the national team, you might feel very stressed. But Uncle Poh made the environment more homely, like everyone is one big family so there's no need to be so uptight and that definitely helped reduce stress."He sort of became my mentor and he has become like a family member to me. Outside the range, he is a family-oriented person. For example, whenever we arranged to meet on weekends, he always came after having dinner with his mother."

28th SEA Games Singapore 2015 - National Shooting Centre, Singapore - 11/6/15. Shooting - Men's 50m Pistol Team - Final - Singapore's Gai Bin, Lim Swee Hon and Poh Lip Meng celebrate with their gold medals on the podium. SEAGAMES28 TEAMSINGAPORE. Mandator
(From left) Poh Lip Meng, Gai Bin and Nigel Lim with their gold medals at the 2015 SEA Games. PHOTO: SINGAPORE SEA GAMES ORGANISING COMMITTEE

The Singapore Shooting Association in a Facebook post paid tribute to Poh as "a treasured member in the shooting family [who] will be greatly missed".

Singapore National Olympic Council's president Tan Chuan-Jin said: "He was an exemplary athlete, and often greeted anyone he met with a friendly and warm disposition. We've lost a fine role model."

The wake is held at Block 857, Tampines Street 83, Singapore 520857 until Sunday.

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