RIO DE JANEIRO - National rower Saiyidah Aisyah, Singapore's first Olympic rower, finished third in her heats on Saturday morning (Aug 6) on the opening day of the Rio Games competition.
The 28-year-old clocked 8:44.71 in Heat 4 of the women's single sculls race held at the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in Copacabana.
Duan Jingli from China won the 2,000m, five-rower race in a time of 8:18.57.
Duan, Switzerland's JeanineGmelin (8:28.10) and Saiyidah qualify for Tuesday's quarter-finals.
A delighted Saiyidah said: "I just relaxed and tried my best. What an amazing experience. I am proud to represent Singapore. There is a bit of pressure but it is going to be exciting (in the quarter-finals). I hope it (her participation in the Olympics) will inspire others."
Saiyidah, the 2013 SEA Games champion, had targeted a place in the D final and a top-24 finish among the 32 participants.
She had earned her spot in Brazil after winning the B final of April's Asia and Oceania Continental Olympic Qualification Regatta in Chung-ju, South Korea.
She had moved to Sydney last year to train full-time in pursuit of her Olympic dreams and had used her life savings. She even took to crowd-funding earlier this year to fund her training expenses.