By Joseph Lee/Red Sports


Gilbert Wong, 26, will be heading to Myanmar for his first SEA Games. (Photo © Joseph Lee/Red Sports)

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Gilbert Wong, 26, will be heading to his first ever South-east Asia (SEA) Games. The 27th SEA Games will be held in Myanmar from December 11, 2013.

Gilbert will be taking part in the Dragon boat 10s for 500m and 1000m.

We caught up with Gilbert to hear about his dragon boat experiences.

Joseph Lee: What challenges have you faced heading into the SEA Games?
Gilbert: It was definitely juggling between work and training and trying to be there for every training session.

What do you hope to achieve at this SEA Games?
Gilbert: We would like to clock a personal best at these games and outdo our previous results. A podium finish would be nice, but the ultimate goal would be training up for the 2015 SEA Games held in Singapore. Hopefully by then, we would have a stronger squad and more rowers coming through the pipeline.

What was your training like in the lead up to the SEA Games?
Gilbert: We would train about four to five times a week with each session lasting between two to three hours. We train at various locations around Singapore like Kallang, Bedok and a few other places.

Who is your role model?
Gilbert: From the sport, I definitely look up to my seniors as they are exemplary in their conduct and during every training session.

But from outside the sport, I admire our Singapore swimmer Tao Li and also 100m sprinter Calvin Kang. You see there? He is the person on that Milo can. Hahaha

How did you get started in your sport?
Gilbert: I started out before enlisting in the army with the SAFRA Dragonboat team. I also took part in the sport in my varsity days with the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM).

Red Sports: What is your best school sport memory?
Gilbert: I would say that it would have been on shore and not being on the boat. It came when I was watching my juniors race in the recent Prime Ministers’ Cup and coming out on top and winning the gold!

Red Sports: What is your favourite food?
Gilbert: Japanese food!

Red Sports: If your did not do Dragonboat, what would you be doing?
Gilbert: I think I would be a chef!

Red Sports: What are some of the previous results of the team?
Gilbert: We came in top three during the 2012 and 2013 edition of the DBS Marina Regatta where we invited some top teams like Indonesia and Myanmar. We also came in top 10 during a race in China, where we were up against the East Asian countries like Hong Kong and China.

Any pre-match/pre-event rituals?
Gilbert: I would always visit a good friend’s kid before departing for major competitions just to relax and just see how are they.

What is your biggest motivation?
Gilbert: My team, as we fight on together against some of the best in South-east Asia to put give our best against them.

Gilbert Wong Jun Ren
Age: 26
DOB: August 31, 1987
Height: 171cm
Weight: 76 kg
Event: Dragon boat 10s 500m and 1000m
Current Occupation: Training manager at Artease Cafe

The Red Crew wish Gilbert Wong all the best at the 2013 SEA Games! Do drop Gilbert a note of support in the comments section if you can. We’re sure he’ll appreciate it. Upload photos showing your support of Gilbert also on Instagram using #ourteamsg, or on the Team Singapore campaign’s website: