Sheer will power and perseverance helped Singapore paddler book Olympic berth
Clarence Chew made history when he became the first Singapore born male to qualify for an Olympics Men's Singles Table Tennis event in April this year.
In so doing he fulfilled a lifelong dream to play at the Olympics, the pinnacle of any athlete's career. But reaching there was not always a certainty in Chew's mind.
"I had a feeling of elation and a huge sense of relief. All these years of hard work and sacrifice have finally paid off for me."
When asked what he relied on to keep him going through the obstacles he faced en route to becoming an Olympian, he said: "Some of my daily wins would be making through every session with something to gain - to take away from the good days, but also to learn from the not so good days."
"It's learning to navigate these setbacks that help you improve both as a person and as an athlete," he added.
Indeed it wasn't a smooth sailing journey for Chew, and at one point he felt he was lagging behind his peers, particularly when he went through National Service.
"I had many up and down moments. Some periods I wasn't doing well. My time during national service, where I couldn't train and compete as regularly, and I could feel that everyone else was improving and I was just maintaining."
He then concluded: "So there were a lot of self doubts and motivational issues, but at the end of the day it's up to your own will power and perseverance to overcome all these difficulties to achieve what I've achieved today."