18-year-old Singaporean powerlifter sets new world record

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Yet another young local athlete has done Singapore proud, this time at the World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Minsk, Belarus.

Matthew Yap, 18, a student from Republic Polytechnic, has set a new squat world record in the Under-66kg sub-junior (for 14 to 18-year-olds) division last Sunday (June 18), according to TODAY.

Yap lifted 208kg on his third attempt, beating the previous squat world record of 207.5kg set by Swede Eddie Berglund in Texas last year.

But his road to the world title wasn’t a smooth one.

On his first attempt, Yap cleared 190kg, a modest weight in a steady pace towards the world record.

However, he was forced to sit out his second attempt of 202.5kg due to a cramp, dropping him to fourth position and out of any medal positions.

That meant his third and final attempt was his only chance at winning anything in the competition.

You know what they always say, “go big or go home”, right? 

And that was exactly what Yap had in mind.

In a phone interview with TODAY, Yap revealed how he was motivated to do well after all the effort he put in his training preceding the competition.

“I told myself I flew all the way here just to compete and with all the hard work and sacrifices that I have put in, I must make it worthwhile,” Yap commented.

All that hard work had not gone to waste definitely, and Yap had his brother Marcus Yap, who is also his coach, to thank.

In his Instagram post, Yap credited his success at the competition to Marcus, whon Yap said “hasn’t been eating well” and had prioritised Yap’s training in the lead up to the event.

And it was Marcus who got Yap into powerlifting initially, according to Channel NewsAsia.

“He first competed and when I witnessed it, I told myself I want to be on this platform one day,” he explained.

Yap adds his record-breaking gold medal adds to a bronze medal (130kg) in the bench press and silver (550.5kg) in the overall standings at the competition.

Local netizens were undoubtedly proud of Yap’s performance.

One netizen also expressed his hopes for powerlifting to gain more recognition as a sport in Singapore.

ongymm@sph.com.sg

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 – 10:57

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