Wong confirmed for C’wealth Games
SINGAPORE — Thrower-turned-weightlifter Scott Wong (picture) heaved a happy sigh of relief yesterday after learning that the Singapore National Olympic Council’s (SNOC) Selections and Appeals Committee had given him the green light to compete at the Commonwealth Games (July 23 to Aug 3) in Glasgow.
In April, the University of Manchester medical student’s bid for inclusion in the quadrennial Games was rejected by the SNOC as his then personal best of 303kg did not meet the qualifying mark of 312kg — pegged at the sixth placed performance at the last Games in 2010.
But the determined athlete — who made the switch from athletics to weightlifting eight months ago — went on to lift a total of 312kg (135kg snatch, 177kg clean and jerk) at the Central England Open in Nottingham on Saturday.
“I felt vindicated and relieved. At the start of this (journey) eight months ago, I decided to fight and perform at the Commonwealth Games as I believed in my potential,” said Wong, 23, who is recovering from a slipped disc injury sustained two months ago.
“I feel relieved that my potential has translated to actual results and it was a good decision to make the switch to weightlifting.”
Wong has already recorded five personal bests in as many competitions since taking up the sport competitively and is hopeful of making the top five in Glasgow in July.
He added: “I am aiming for a 325kg to 330kg total for a top-five finish at the Commonwealth Games. My personal target for snatch should be 145kg and, hopefully, I will get closer to 150kg. I need to practise more to find out my limits (for clean and jerk). I would say 185kg is achievable by the Games.”
Wong will join team-mate Lewis Chua in the men’s +105kg event at the Games, along with about 70 athletes from Team Singapore.
This will be the first time Singapore’s male weightlifters are competing in the Commonwealth Games since Teh Yong Joo took part in the 1990 Auckland Games. Helena Wong represented the Republic at the last edition in New Delhi as Singapore’s first woman lifter in a major Games.
The SNOC also announced yesterday an additional four athletes for the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in August, bringing the current contingent size to 12. LOW LIN FHOONG