Last year at the SEA Games held in Palembang, Indonesia, 25-year-old Gary Yeo shocked the field as he crossed the finish line second in the men 100m final event, in a lifetime best timing of 10.46 seconds.
Although the local media hyped it as an astonishing feat, for those who has been in the athletics scene knows it came as no surprise that he earned that silver medal by sheer pluck after years of modeled training, refusing to yield and settle for anything less.
Coming into the 2011 SEA Games, the event which was held biennially, the second-year undergrad had a season-best of 10.62 seconds and was ranked second in the 100 metres men event locally for that year.
That time alone wouldn’t make it to the podium, but he knew something special was brewing in the air for he and his coach Melvin Tan was meticulously planning his peak for this moment alone.
Futhermore experience was on his side as Gary had been in two previous SEA Games outing in 2007 and 2009 before Palembang.
Although unsuccessful in his medal hunt in 2007, he did help the 4×100 metres relay quartet setting a new national record of 40.10 seconds (Gary, Shameer, Calvin, Seng Song) when the Games was held in Korat, Thailand in five years ago, bettering the old mark of 40.32 seconds.
Then in 2009 SEA Games he once again was part of a record breaking relay team in the 4×100 metres men event (39.82s), which earned the quartet a silver medal.
For in 2011 SEA Games, he had peaked at the right time, and brought home another two medals, both silver. A personal best in the blue ribbon event (100m 10.46s 2.1m/s), and the 4x100m men’s relay squad (39.91s).
With his recent excellent performances, Gary was warranted a wildcard entry. His SAA nomination was approved by SNOC, and he’s enjoying the fruits of his labor for he is in London now; the Republic athletics representative for the Olympics.
The opportunity allows Gary Yeo the chance to achieve his biggest dream in life by running, training and rubbing shoulder in the ‘big leagues’ alongside some of the greatest all-time names.
- D.O.B: 30/08/1986
Years in sport: 12
PB / SB: 10.46s / 10.62s (100m)
Records: Men senior 4x100m (39.58s)
Here’s a recent interview with Gary before he depart for London.
What was your reaction upon hearing of your selection for the Olympics?
Gary: I was happy and deeply honored to be selected to be selected and am very excited to race at this year’s Olympics.
In your wildest dream when you started your athletics journey, would you be imagining that you would be competing at the biggest sporting event in the world this August.
Gary: No, I would not have dreamed of this at all.
Gary Yeo seen here in at the Palembang Games, where he won silver. Image courtesy of SSC, via Getty.
What are your expectation(s) for the Games?
Gary: To go below 10.40s if possible
What are you hoping to gain from your experience at London 2012?
Gary: The once in a lifetime Olympics experience.
How and what are your preparation(s) for this meet?
Gary: A month training stint with the top sprinters of Japan and training has been good.
Gary’s first medal in 2009 at the SEA Games Laos, for the 4x100m men relay event.
What are your plans after the Olympics?
Gary: To return to school and for the track, to qualify for Sea Games at ASEAN University Games this year.
You’ve a unique athlete-student journey. I believe you took the secondary to A-Level route but didn’t make the cut for University. But you preserved and took a course in Poly where you excelled and earned you a spot at SMU. In all that time, did you ever though of quitting the sport and just focus on academia. What attributed you to continue training, and who was the person(s) who kept the faith in your abilities?
Gary: My fiancee, coaches and training mates – both past and present have kept me going.
Gary with his fiancee, and friends from his club, Wings Athletic Club.
It brings another good question of the support level needed for Singapore athletes. Do you think the current system is suffice, or lacking thereof. If so in what areas do you think that needs improving to improve the current state of Singapore athletics?
Gary: A better solution for athletes in NS and a better pathway for senior athletes looking to be professional. We can look towards Japan where the athletes are employed to work 3 hours a day on full pay and get the time to train as well.
Currently you’re an economics student. Have you ever thought of life after athletics. Will you pursue a career related to what you’re majoring, or are you still keeping your options open. What does the future holds for you?
Gary: I am a business student, for now majoring in marketing and operations. Probably looking to go into operations side for the future.
Gary Yeo circa year 2008 as he receives recognition for his effort and pursuit in athletics.
SEA Games 2015, do you have plans to still be competing by then?
Gary: Yes, to compete at Sea Games 2015 in front of home crowd at the new National Stadium would be a good experience and also a good farewell for me.
Lastly any advice to young budding youth athletes out there thinking, and are currently pursuing an athlete-student similar to yours.
Gary: Work hard and have the belief to go far.
The Republic 4x100m men relay quarter on the podium for the SEA Games 2011 edition.
Gary is scheduled to compete in the 100m men preliminary round at the XXX Olympic Games on 4th of August, Saturday 10:00am London time, or 5:00pm Singapore time. We are +7 hours ahead of London.
You might want to read these too:
New Singapore men 4x100m record at Asian Grand Prix
Report Card for Gary Yeo and Dipna Lim at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor C’ships
Team Singapore Results – Asian Indoors C’ship 2012
Nominations for London 2012
Gary Yeo & Dipna Lim-Prasad IAAF World Champ debut
Coaches, athletes and the public can access previous IAAF archives at the below link:
The online portal has issues with insightful information on training, tips, etc, plus a resource of database.
To date the archives span up to year 2010. Issues from 2011 will go online in October.
We hope it will be of use.
26th Jul 2012
SAA has published the entry standard for our marquee annual Championships to be held 25-26 August.
Events will be seeded based on the registrant entry standard.
Please be accurate in submitting times/mark for your athletes, as the success of the meet depends on creating competitive heats.
SAA reserves the right to accept or deny entries if there is a question as to the legitimacy of the submitted mark.
Meeting an entry standard does not guarantee acceptance into the meet.
You will need the below file to send in your entries. The detailed instruction to register can be found here.
Any inquiries please contact events_at_athletics.sg, or call 6563862721.
Posted by Sha
Filed under Announcements
You can download the tentative schedule below:
24th Jul 2012
At the time of this article was published, it will be around the tail-end of a 13-hour flight by Olympic debutant Dipna Lim-Prasad from Singapore to London.
The 21-year-old left the city state yesterday, not before being given a rousing send-off by some 200 plus supporters crowding Terminal 3 at Changi Airport.
She is one of two athletics representative; the other a fellow sprinter Gary Yeo, nominated by SAA as the two most promising Singaporean athletes for the two wildcard entry allotted by International Association of Athletics Federations per country which fail to produce athletes who meet qualification standards are granted “wild cards”, which allow them to enter competitors whose abilities are below the required standards.
As the media people swarmed her with questions before her flight, Dipna’s eyes widened slightly at every mentioned of running at the biggest athletics showcase there is, the Olympics.
But her journey to securing her Olympic Games ticket wasn’t always this blessed.
After making the cut for the first batch of Singapore Sports School academic and sports programme in 2004, Dipna was outshone by peers her age and was relegated to second-string status.
But her Georgian coach, Viatcheslav Vassiliev, a former national hurdler himself, saw something in Dipna five years ago that could lead to a potentially successful future in hurdling.
That was the turning point for her.
Since then she has lowered the women 100 metres hurdles national mark four times, and is the second woman after Tang Pui Wah’s 1952 Helsinki appearance to represent Singapore in the women hurdles event.
Name: Dipna Lim-Prasad
PB: 14.23s (100m hurdles), 24. (200m), 57.49s (400m)
Records: Women senior 100m hurdles & 4x400m junior women
Here’s a recent interview with Dipna before she depart for London.
Q) What was your reaction upon hearing of your selection for the Olympics?
Dipna: I had to pinch myself a bit. Ha ha. It takes a while to register that your dream is coming true.
Q) In your wildest dream when you started your athletics journey, would you be imagining that you would be competing at the biggest sporting event in the world.
Dipna: I’m sure that every athlete would have an Olympic dream, no matter how big or small. But having the dream actually come through… I wasn’t as sure.
Yesterday at the airport, Dipna and Gary in their Team Singapore Yonex outfit, posing with their loved ones, supporters, and friends.
Q) What are your expectation(s) for the Games?
Dipna: I hope to do my best –which is to break my current personal best and national record –because that’s all I can do. At the same time, I have to try to not be hyper stimulated and try to be calm and execute my race.
Q) What are you hoping to gain from your experience at London 2012?
Dipna: Learn from other athletes! It’s always eye opening to meet world class athletes who practice very different drills but run the same event.
Q) How and what are your preparation(s) for this meet?
Dipna: My training has become more hurdle specific such that I now have a hurdle component in every single training session versus the previous 2-3 times a week.
Dipna posing with her coach seen here in this photo, Viatcheslav Vassiliev.
Q) What are your plans after the Olympics?
Dipna: I will start a new training phase and aim to peak for the ASEAN university games in December. I hope to improve on my bronze medal position from the previous games.
Q) You are a success product of the Singapore Sports School world-class integrated academic and sports programme. Would you think you could have still achieved similarly, in terms of your success & achievements on & off the track, if you were schooled at another institution other than Sports School.
Dipna: Definitely not. My first sports school coach Mr. Rainer Paul developed me into a strong 400m runner and my second and current coach, Mr. Viatcheslav Vassiliev introduced me to hurdles and it is under him that I broke the 100m Hurdles Jr and National record. I don’t think I would be a national record holder if I didn’t meet Coach Slava. Academic wise, the sports school allowed me to undergo a through-train course that exempted me from ‘O’ Levels (except mother tongue) which enabled me to continue training.
Dipna receives the baton in a relay competition wearing Singapore Sports School colors.
Q) You’re just 21-years-old, already holding 3 records across 4 different age-groups records, and multi-talented not just the hurdles, but the sprints up to 400 metres. Do you think you’re still tinkering with the various events, and have no plans to specialize in a certain discipline? So what is just in the cards for you? Will you specialize, considering it would give you more focus to break more records, or do you plan to keep on doing what you’re doing currently.
Dipna: I’m 21 this year! Well, I would say that I’m currently focused on hurdles. Sprints will always be a part of my training programme simply because I need the base speed to be quick in the hurdles as well. Also, it’s always fun to run different events and allows me to be competitively active while reducing the pressure on myself by running an event I’m not expected to excel as well in.
Q) I reckon we will be seeing you at SEA Games 2015. Any bold predictions considering you’re competing on home-ground? By 2015, what do you hope to accomplish by then.
Dipna: Goodness. Go under 14s! I’ve been trying to go under that for a while now. I hope to win a medal at the Games. It’d be like a home run (haha)!
Dipna future looks bright. Going below 14 seconds in her pet event is her goal comes this Olympic.
Q) Lastly any advice to young budding youth athletes out there thinking, and are currently pursuing an athlete-student similar to yours.
Dipna: Don’t give up. Just keep working at it; your time will come. I joined the sports school with no place for an individual event for me to take part in, I never thought I’d be the one heading to the Olympics. So keep trying, you never know when it’s your turn to shine?
Dipna is scheduled to compete in the 100m hurdles women qualifying round at the XXX Olympic Games on 6th of August, Monday 10:05am London time, or 5:05pm Singapore time. We are +7 hours ahead of London.
The SAA Series Walks event has just completed it’s fourth competition of the year. The results and media files as below:
- Download: [download#732#nohits] Downloaded [download#732#hits] times
- Video: View here
Official SAA Series Walk Competitions 2012 page
The SAA statistics team brings you some stats and results from our Singapore athletes participation from 1948 to the last Olympic edition in 2008.
SAA page on the Summer Olympics
Ng Chin Hui finished fourth in his heat #2 with a time of 48.56 seconds.
Only first 2 of each heat (Q) plus the 8 fastest times (q) will qualify for the next round.
He’s the only junior athlete from Southeast Asian region, and one of the nine Asian junior quarter-milers vying in the competition.
17th Jul 2012
Tags: Ng Chin Hui