He has often been compared to the 2013 SEA Games men's +100kg judo champion Ho Han Boon but when Wee Pui Seng finished third yesterday, failing to match the feat of his fellow Singaporean, he remained positive.
Wee was unable to reach the final and had to settle for bronze after defeating Indonesia's Kakalang Frangklin by ippon at the Singapore Expo.
"I'm happy, definitely. I was aiming for the gold, but a bronze medal is better than no medal," said a satisfied Wee.
Despite defeating the 205kg Ho during the internal selection trials, Wee, who is 85kg lighter, did not allow the weight of expectation to overwhelm him.
He said: "Many people would put me up against Han Boon, he being the reigning champion. After having beaten him, it's everybody expectation that I would repeat his feat. But that was his game, and I didn't let it affect me much. I'm not very disappointed (with the bronze)."
The bronze medal has also inspired Wee to continue competing.
"Actually I told myself I might just retire for good after this SEA Games, because I'm already 29. But now, the feeling is quite nice - the feeling of winning again. It reminded me of what it's like to have a goal in mind, work towards it and enjoy the fruits of your labour. So I think I might still try for the next one (SEA Games)," he said.
Wee suffered an unexpected defeat in the semi-final, by Thailand's Yea-on Kunathip, who went on to win the +100kg gold, beating Myanmar's Aung Zin Linn.
In the women's +78kg category, Myanmar's Thu Khin Myo took the gold after beating Thailand's Satjadet Thonthan by shido. Malaysia's Abdul Razak Noor Asnida earned the bronze after defeating Laos' Phommavihane Sipaphay by ippon.