S'pore skydivers soar in Australian Indoor Skydiving Championships

SINGAPORE - Skydiving is a sport few have tried, much less competed in internationally. For the Republic's young indoor skydivers however, flying has become pretty much part of their lifestyle.

At the Australian Indoor Skydiving Championships last weekend, the young Singaporean contingent - with an average age of just 12.25-years - swept the competition, bringing home a total of 10 gold medals.

The team's most bemedalled athlete was 15-year-old Kyra Poh, who bagged four golds while team mate Choo Yi Xuan, 16, took home three.

Aside from combining their efforts in the team events, Kyra also retained her individual artistic freestyle title while Yi Xuan, together with Isabelle Koh, clinched her third gold in the dynamic two-way speed intermediate event.

Kyra's last gold medals came in the formation skydiving four-way AA event, as she and her team, comprising of Joshua Lee, Jordan Lee and Danelle Goh came up tops.

Said Kyra: "This was my first time taking part in four different categories over the two-day competition, which was actually quite stressful because most of the events were back to back. I had to compose myself, change into a different fly suit and mentally prepare for the next event."

For Yi Xuan, victory with first-timer Isabelle, who is just 9-years-old, was the sweetest. She said: "I think we did really well for two way dynamics (intermediate) with Isabelle as this was her first international competition, yet she had shown vast improvement since the start when she knew nothing about dynamics."

I feel really happy to be able to dominate all three categories I had taken part in and was really thrilled to see old friends at the competition venue."

Isabelle also won gold in the artistic freestyle (kids intermediate) with compatriot Vera Poh, 7, in second.

For Kyra and Yi Xuan, their next target is the FAI World Indoor Skydiving Championship in Montreal, for which Kyra is the defending world champion.

She said: "There's quite a lot of pressure as I want to try my best to defend my title and also show people how much I've improved. More importantly, I am super excited and happy to be going to Montreal to represent Singapore."

For second-time participant Yi Xuan, the championships will also be a chance for redemption, she said: "Last year, we placed forth in two way because we weren't ready, but this year we are more prepared to soar higher! I am very excited to compete again this year and with our capability, I'm sure we will do very well, even better than last year."

Correction note: This story has been edited to clarify that Choo Yi Xuan, together with Isabelle Koh, clinched her third - and not fourth - gold in the dynamic two-way speed intermediate event.