Powerlifting duo return to Singapore after being stranded in Belarus due to visa mix-up

Powerlifting brothers Matthew and Marcus Yap finally touchdown in Singapore after being stranded in Belarus for 30 hours.
Powerlifting brothers Matthew and Marcus Yap finally touchdown in Singapore after being stranded in Belarus for 30 hours.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - After being stranded in Belarus for 30 hours due to a visa mix-up, powerlifting brothers Matthew and Marcus Yap have finally arrived back home on Saturday afternoon.

They were greeted by their mother along with other relatives, friends and vice-president of Powerlifting Singapore, Tan Say Yong.

The brothers were in Belarus to participate in the World Classic Powerlifting Championships, and Matthew set a new world squat record of 208kg in the men's Under-66kg sub-junior division (14- to 18-year-olds) on June 18. Marcus, 23, went to the world event as a coach.

Matthew, 18, said: "It's a huge relief I have to say, after being stranded and all of that (the visa mix-up).

"We definitely feel very relieved to step in Singapore soil again."

A crowdfunding effort was set up to bring the boys home after their mix-up, and the amount gathered was $2,685 through crowdfunding website Give.asia.

Marcus said: "We are really lost for words, it's something we would not have imagined and from the bottom of our hearts we are really (thankful)."