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Kuala Lumpur host of South East Asian Games this week

16 Aug 2017 16:40

 The new paper

This week two major events take place in cities where we usually don’t report on too much. The FISU Universiade in Taipei, and the other event is the SEA Games, another multisports events for the South East Asian Region held in Kuala Lumpur.

National judoka Gary Chow of Singapore is confident he can finally lay his hands on the elusive gold at the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur. He won a silver on his SEA Games debut in 2013, and a bronze in 2015 on home ground.

In fact, Chow, who will be competing in the men's 81kg category, has made it his mission to win the gold since he lost the 2013 final in Myanmar to Thailand's Nopachai Kocharat.

Said the 27-year-old judo coach to the new paper: "I've worked to improve my sharpness and I'm hoping to win my category because I came really close in 2013. "From then on, my resolve and focus have always been the gold medal."

Chow was put to the test at the Asian Championships in Hong Kong in May, when he beat Nepal's Mohan Sunuwar by ippon and waza-ari in the opening round, before exiting the competition in the second round.

The 1.75m-tall athlete said: "The Asian Championships in Hong Kong would be the highest-level tournament I've competed in so far. "There were a lot of top players, including Olympic and world champions."

"It was a great experience and I've learnt a lot because the standard of judo there was definitely a lot higher than what I'm used to," added Chow, who picked up the sport at 13.

Now a second-degree black- belt holder, Chow said that donning Singapore's colours is his childhood dream. He said: "That's what I've always wanted since I started. I wanted to represent the country."

Chow is one of only two judokas from Singapore headed for the SEA Games. The other is 18-year-old Raffles Institution student Ace Ang, who is competing in his first Games in the 66kg category.

Ang said: "In my division, there are many players who are physically stronger, so I want to increase my strength and improve. "I want to play to the best of my ability and, if I win a medal, I'd be very happy."

Ang named Japanese Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion Kosei Inoue as his inspiration. He said: "The player I want to be most is Inoue.

"He has retired for some time, yet his legacy lives on.

"I hope to emulate his techniques and victories in the future."

This and next week we will show the results from the SEA Games and FISU Universiade.

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