SINGAPORE — The Singapore national sailing team displayed an improved performance compared to their previous Asian Games, as they brought home two golds, two silvers, and three bronze medals from Hangzhou, China.
The 2023 Formula Kite world champion Maximilian Maeder put on a stellar display at the Ningbo Xiangshan Sailing Centre to top all 16 races (final results below) as he sailed to the gold medal in the Asian Games Formula Kite race, while fellow Team Singapore sailor Ryan Lo bagged the other gold medal in the Men’s ILCA 7 race.
The silver medals were won by Issac Goh in the Boy’s ILCA 4, and Singapore’s duo Justin Liu and Denise Lim in the Nacra 17 Mixed event. Victoria Chan and Keira Marie Carlyle collected a bronze medal each from the Women’s ILCA 6 and Girl’s ILCA 4 respectively. The pairing of Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low also won Team Singapore a bronze medal in the 49er FX Women’s race.
Although it was not Maeder’s first experience at an international competition, he was still ecstatic to represent the country at the Asian Games. Prior to his gold medal win at Hangzhou, he had competed and won the youth world championships in Formula Kite competitions in consecutive years from 2021 to 2023.
“I’m so happy to be able to compete here at the Asian Games for the first time. What an experience. I was really supported by the team and I felt the team spirit as well, and I think that played a big part in the results at the Asian Games. Great team spirit, great pride in my nation, and so far so good,” said 17-year-old Maeder to reporters after his gold medal win at the Asian Games.
Both Maeder and Lo’s gold-medal performance at the Asian Games received praise from Edwin Tong, Minister of Culture, Community, and Youth who shared his excitement on Facebook.
“What a remarkable achievement for our Team SG sailing athletes, Ryan Lo and Max Maeder, at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou! Max’s dominance in this event has been absolutely amazing. He won every single one of the 16 races over the last few days, in the run up to the final day. An incredible feat, showcasing his unwavering skill and determination, and maturity beyond his years. It’s an exciting preview for the Paris Olympics 2024, where kite-foiling will make its debut – a thrilling event to look forward to!” posted Minister Tong on social media.
“Ryan’s achievement is equally impressive, as it secures a quota spot for Singapore at next year’s Paris Olympics. His hard work and dedication have paid off, and we can’t wait to see him represent our nation on the world stage!”
The 13-member contingent returned home from China late on Thursday to be greeted with fanfare by their family members and friends at Changi Airport. Speaking to the media upon their return, Lo said that such competitions had boosted his confidence and he looked forward to achieving success in higher- level tournaments..
“The Asian Games and the Olympics are high-pressure events. It sets me up in terms of how I deal with the pressure, the media and the things that are involved in such high-level competition. I think I am more confident in my ability and how I am able to handle my pressure, and I am just looking forward to the next few months on what I need to work on. I look forward to qualifying for the Olympics,” said Lo.
In the previous Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Team Singapore sailors won only one gold and a bronze medal. Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low bagged gold in the 49er FX race, while Ryan Lo came in third in the Laser event.
While the sport of sailing may not be as popular as other mainstream sports such as football, swimming, or athletics, the Singapore Sailing Federation has consistently been winning medals in the Asian Games since 1994. Their best achievement came in the 2006 Asian Games when they clinched five golds, three silvers, and two bronze medals. Prior to 1994, the last time Singapore won a sailing medal at the Asian Games was in the 70s, securing a bronze medal in 1978 and two silver medals in 1970 competition.
Team Singapore Sailing Medals from the Asian Games
2022 – 2 Gold, 2 Silver, 3 Bronze
2018 – 1 Gold, 1 Bronze
2014 – 3 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze
2010 – 2 Gold, 2 Silver, 4 Bronze
2006 – 5 Gold, 3 Silver, 2 Bronze
2002 – 4 Bronze
1998 – 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze
1994 – 1 Gold, 1 Silver
1978 – 1 Bronze
1970 – 2 Silver