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8th ASEAN Para Games at Singapore - Overall

by Icarus Sailing Media 9 Dec 2015 18:46 GMT 7-8 December 2015

Day 2

There's a buzz of positive atmosphere on the quayside, as day 2 brought clear skies and perfect sailing conditions. The venue is ideal for "stadium racing" allowing fans and spectators to come along and enjoy the competition.

Sailing is a unique sport in that it provides a real sense of freedom and brings you closer to nature's elements. That feeling is even bigger for these para-athletes. Once they're on their boats, they are away from the constraints of everyday life and focused on manoeuvring their boats as smoothly as possible.

And for sure Singapore's Yap Qian Yin knows how to sail well, as she continued her 100 percent flawless performance. The extraordinary athlete has twice battled back from cancer and only learnt to sail in 2011.

It was 2 time Paralympic sailor Jovin Tan who introduced her to the sport and he leads the fleet in the Hansa 303 wide open class with his 71 year old crew mate, Teo Kee Lin - the oldest athlete at the games and their performances prove that there are no limitations in this sport.

In the Hansa 2.3 Men's class, Al Mustakim Bin Martin has sailed with consistency and after the 7th race, he's increased his lead, leaving the rest of the fleet fighting for a place on the podium.

Whatever the sport at these games, there's always the same passion for winning. Each athlete shows tremendous commitment and competitiveness. One of the 15 sports for people with disabilities this week is powerlifting where the athletes can lift more than 3 times their own body weight.

For the sailors, they were back ashore and resting ahead of the final day's racing where the medals would be decided. For the volunteers and guests though, they took the opportunity to experience the feeling of sailing in the heart of a cosmopolitan city.

Day 3

Although the final podium places will be decided today, there was a relaxed atmosphere among the athletes as they waited on the quayside for the breeze to fill in. An agonising wait with the sailors keen to get out on the water and get racing.

Marina Bay, with it's ideal city centre location hosts many top events. A few months ago the region's biggest multi sports event, the 28th edition of the South East Asian Games took place in the iconic venue. This current event, the ASEAN Para Games is typically hosted by the same country and the name "Para" indicates that the Games for Para-athletes are in parallel with the able-bodied equivalent.

So now it's time for Para Sailing athletes to try and pursuit their dreams at this prestigious event. The added challenge of light & shifty conditions would test their skills on this final day. The athletes can't control natures elements so will need to draw on all of their training to get the best out of their boats.

After waiting patiently, the breeze was still not strong enough - nerves may have started creeping in with both the athletes and race committee keen to start racing

Eventually, the wind picked up and the sailors could head out to the racecourse and the battle for glory could commence.

In the Hansa 2.3 Women fleet, Yap Qian Yip dominated yet again keeping her incredible 100% winning record - a remarkable achievement. She's certainly a huge talent for Singapore sailing to be proud of.

In the Hansa 303 wide open, the points were closed, but the leaders, Teo Kee Lin &Tan Wei Qiang Jovin didn't crumble under the pressure to keep pole position.

In the Hansa 2.3 Men's class, the tricky weather sadly allow any racing to take place so Al Mustakim Bin Matrin won the gold.

The event closed with an impressive ceremony in front of the race course. Medals was given whilst National flags were raised. A time for the athletes to celebrate their achievements with friendships renewed.

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