HANOI - Seven years after winning a historic SEA Games gold in the kayak men’s K1 1,000m, Singapore’s Lucas Teo was back on the top of the podium in Hanoi on Wednesday (April 18).
And the second gold felt extra special for the 31-year-old, who is now a father of two – two-year-old son Issac and nine-month-old daughter Eden.
The veteran kayaker finished ahead of five other competitors in 3min 51.501sec at the Thuy Nguyen Hai Phong Aquatics Centre.
Indonesia’s Maizir Riyondra (3:56.446) claimed the silver, while Thailand’s Methasit Sitthipharat won the bronze (3:58.278).
One of the first things Teo did after his race was to text his wife Suzanne Seah.
Said Teo: “The difference between my first gold and this one is that this one feels more meaningful because I can share it with them (my family).
“Mentally, I am in a different place than I was in 2015.”
Teo’s gold medal was the fourth of his 12-year career after the 2015 title, a silver (men’s K1 1,000m) and a bronze in the men’s K4 1,000m team at the 2011 edition.
The sport was dropped from the 2017 Games and Teo did not participate in the 2019 edition as he chose to take a break.
He hopes that his comeback victory will inspire the next generation of kayakers, particularly the students he coaches at the ActiveSG Canoe Academy.
Teo is aiming for a second gold medal today when he teams up with Brandon Ooi – who won gold in 2015 with Bill Lee – in the men’s kayak K2 1,000m.
But he will need to settle his nerves ahead of the title challenge, saying: “I am always nervous regardless of what competition and which event. It’s been three years of preparation leading up to the Games.
“I am confident going into the race because I believe in all the work I have done leading up to this.”
Teo’s gold is the sole medal for the 18-strong canoe/kayak contingent at the Hanoi Games so far, with three days of racing remaining.