Age no obstacle for para-lifter Kalai Vanen

Every competition is an opportunity for an athlete to offer proof of progress. The Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, which start on April 4, will be no different for Singapore's contingent. The Straits Times continues its daily build-up. Powerlifter's Paralympic journey started at 56 and he is determined to get to Tokyo

Kalai Vanen, 59, lost his left leg to cancer when he was 29. At the age of 56, he picked up para-powerlifting. He achieved his personal best of 155kg at the World Para Powerlifting Championships and hopes to surpass that at the Commonwealth Games.
Personal trainer Kalai Vanen still finds time for five to six training sessions a week despite having to see a few clients daily.
Personal trainer Kalai Vanen still finds time for five to six training sessions a week despite having to see a few clients daily.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Kalai Vanen spent six years in his 20s as an army officer taking and giving orders but has lived the past three years defying the commands of Father Time.

In early 2015 at the age of 56, he picked up para-powerlifting at the behest of his friend and Singapore Disability Sports Council vice-president Raja Singh. Singapore was hosting the Asean Para Games that year and the association needed representatives in the sport.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2018, with the headline 'Time no obstacle to lofty dream'. Print Edition | Subscribe