They only picked up competitive tandem cycling earlier this year but Jessen Ng and Emily Lee will return from the 9th ASEAN Para Games with more than just the memories of being able to represent the nation together.
The pair finished the first day of cycling with three bronzes and a silver — four out of the five medals that the para cycling team won on Sunday.
Jessen Ng (right) paired up with Calvin Sim for the men’s sprint (B) event. Photo: Sport Singapore
In the men’s sprint (B) event, Jessen paired up with reigning SEA Games gold medalist Calvin Sim to finish third — with (B) being the category for visually impaired athletes.
Jessen, who is visually impaired, and Calvin, his able-bodied sighted pilot, added another bronze to their tally in the last race of the day, finishing behind two Malaysian pairs in the men’s kilometre (B) race.
Emily and her pilot Sarah Tan clinched silver in the women’s sprint (B) event after finishing behind Malaysia’s Nur Azlia Syafinaz and Noraidillina Adilla in the gold medal race. Emily and Sarah then combined for a bronze in the kilometre (B) event.
For Emily, her achievements were all the sweeter given that she could share the joy with her husband.
She said, “I’m happy that he is doing the same sport as me, It’s my first time doing the same sport as my husband so it’s something very unusual.”
This is the 47-year-old’s second Games, having represented Team Singapore in the sport of goalball in 2015.
Emily (left) and her pilot Sarah Tan. Photo: Sport Singapore
“I gave up goalball because for goalball, I’m a little bit short, and I don’t have so much hand power to throw the ball,” she revealed.
“My resolution this year was to find a sport that would keep me fit.
“When I heard that para-cycling was looking for a male tandem team to start, I was very interested and said why male only? I also wanted to join the female team.
“So I asked Christian (Stauffer, the national para-cyclist coach) to start the female team as well.”
Jessen, who picked up the sport around the same time as his wife, said the sport has brought them closer.
“We go to the same place for training, and there, it is quite fun and challenging,” he noted.
“The advantage is that we get to do it together, rather than if we are doing different sports then we are split in different directions, which makes it very hard to coordinate,” he added.
“We do things together, get to spend more time together.”
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