Story by Zachary Foo /Red Sports
Ang Zhi Hao, 27, is part of the dragon boat contingent heading to Myanmar for the 2013 South-East Asian (SEA) Games.
This will be Zhi Hao’s second trip to the SEA Games.
Red Sports caught up with Zhi Hao to find out about his Games preparation experience.
Zachary Foo: What challenges have you faced heading into the SEA Games?
Zhi Hao: The biggest challenge so far would be juggling work and trainings for the SEA Games. With so many things to do, I have insufficient rest time.
What do you hope to gain from this SEA Games?
Zhi Hao: We hope to beat countries like Myanmar and Indonesia, as they are our main competitors at the SEA Games. Hopefully, we can claim a medal placing.
What was your training like in the lead-up to the SEA Games?
We are currently in the midst of a training camp. From Monday to Friday, we have three training sessions, two dragon boat sessions in the morning and evening, with a weights session in the afternoon sandwiched in between. On weekends, we have two sessions daily, practising in the dragon boat, with the occasional weight training.
Who is your role model?
Zhi Hao: Maxim Opalev, a C-1 class canoeist.
When and how did you get started in your sport?
Zhi Hao: It started when I joined a recreational dragon boat team with my friends, I was in my early twenties then. Soon enough, I found myself good enough that I was recruited into the national set-up.
If you were not a dragon boater, what other sport would you do?
Zhi Hao: I think it would be taekwondo. I picked it up when I was younger, although I stopped after a while. I think if I had a chance, I would have gone back to try it again.
Any pre-race rituals?
Zhi Hao: No. I believe that the process before the event is more important than any superstition.
What is your biggest motivation?
Zhi Hao: That we are underdogs heading into the SEA Games. We are not a group of professional rowers, hence our team chemistry was lacking at the start. But the training camp has been extremely beneficial for us, helping us to gel together as a team. Half of the rowers are relatively new and will be heading for their first SEA Games, so it is up to us veterans to help them get used to it.
Ang Zhi Hao Bio
DOB: March 31, 1986
Event: Dragonboat 10s 500m and 1000m
Favourite food: Pizza
Significant Achievements: Defeated powerhouses Japan and China in the past three years
Current Occupation: Executive at Nanyang Polytechnic
The Red Crew wish Zhi Hao all the best at the 2013 SEA Games! Do drop Zhi Hao a note of support in the comments section if you can. We’re sure he’ll appreciate it. Upload photos showing your support of Zhi Hao on Instagram using #ourteamsg, or on the Team Singapore campaign’s website: www.ourteamsg.com