On Not Qualifying for the 2011 SEA Games.

Wings 2011 SEA Games Squad representing Singapore. It's great to see so many of my old squad mates finally making it.

One of the goals I’ve set for myself at the start of 2011 was to qualify for the SEA games.

Tomorrow is the start of the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia and I’m currently at Loughborough. Needless to say, I did not hit my target.

The truth is I was never a talented athlete to begin with. Some people think I’m doing what I’m doing because I was a brilliant athlete when I was young, I’m not.

Unlike my mates in the picture above, I never had much success at a junior level, with my highest achievement only coming in 4th at a national age group competition for shot put when I was 18.

I don’t have a cabinet full of medals and trophies won when I was young, in fact the last medal I won was 5 years ago when I threw the shot put for some army sports meet (there wasn’t much of a competition really). And the total number of medals I’ve ever won in my life I can count with the fingers on my hand.

I used to think if only I was more talented, but as I grew older I’m thankful that I’m not.

For because I was never talented, I learnt to believe in myself before anybody else ever did.

For because I was never talented, I didn’t mind starting at the bottom, finding myself at the very last for all 10 events at the local ranking table after my first decathlon here.

For because I was never talented, I had to figure out how to fund myself. Nobody wanted to fund me to come overseas to pursue this ridiculous dream, so I was forced to financially educate myself and learn how to go out and earn a decent living.

For because I was never talented, I had the guts to train and compete side by side with the best in the world. And even though I got left in the dust, I still kept on going as hard as I can, catching them little by little after each session of training.

For because I was never talented, I learnt to have patience, knowing that my limitations today is not a limit of tomorrow’s possibility.

For because I was never talented, I failed to qualify for the 2011 SEA games, which allowed me to have a better winter training cycle and get a better chance to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

I won’t let myself end where I started, I won’t let myself finish where I began.


  1. Hey Yongsheng, I was looking for information on the 2012 SEA Games when I stumbled upon your blog. Keep your head held high – your experiences have been amazing, and I want to wish you every success in your quest for excellence.

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