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Eileen Chai
  • August 11th, 2005

Eileen Chai

This edition of Singapore Athletics interview, we talked to Eileen Chai. National women’s hurdler and an aspiring educator. Truly known for her exploits in hurdling, Eileen also has a vast experience in gymnastics during her younger days and she’s quite a player with the violin herself

  1. How did you get started with hurdling?

    I started hurdling when I was in primary 4. The school teacher didn’t know which event to put me in. finally decided to put me in hurdles for the national schools. Had once a week training on Saturday mornings. Was more into gymnastics then, training daily.

    In secondary 2, I quitted gymnastics already, so went full steam into hurdles,until sec 4

    Took 1 year break after O’ levels to train in China for diving. Then …

    After 9 years break, came back to hurdles , hence it was a rather natural process.

  2. Tell us abit about yourself, other hobbies, or current occupation/obsession perhaps. Anything

    I really enjoy listening to music, from pop, alternative, lounge to jazz. What’s in my mp3 player?? Currently, its “X&Y from Coldplay”. I have been a Coldplay convert since my very good friend introduced them to me.

    PE teacher at a Raffles Junior College

  3. Describe the greatest moment of your athletic career

    There were actually 2.

    1st was when I was 13, where I won my SEA Games Bronze medal on the balance beam. It was in 1992, Manila. Although it was only a bronze, but it was very precious to me. For the past 2 years preparing for that games, physically, I’ve sustained much injuries, which included a fractured elbow, sprained neck when I fell from the uneven bars, and the common sprained ankles and wrists which had to be bandaged with sticky tapes everytime before training. My skin was literally peeling off! Mentally, I was on a verge of breakdown. With all the constant training and coping with school work, maintaing my diet for my sports, the travelling to and fro alone between China and home, it simply just took a toll on me. I was very very fortunate to have the support from my parents and family though. There were always there when I needed encouragement and support.

    2nd one was when I won a gold in the Asia Pacific Games held in Sri Lanka in 1995. Just few weeks ago I broke my right toe when my feet hit the springboard while rotating in a front somersault, and dislocated my left shoulder when I entered the water at full force. Hence, winning that competition wasn’t easy.

  4. Tell us what goes through your mind before your races?

    I “Charge” through the hurdles, literally! Even my car plate has something similar to that!

    Of course, hurdles, being a speed/power event, dynamism is very important. So I imagine that I’m a swift stallion charging through the track.

  5. What’s your training like .. tell us an insight of your normal daily routine

    Nowadays, I train from Monday to Saturday with the Track and Field Singapore team under the coaching expertise of Uli. I usually go to work in the morning during weekdays and in the afternoon, attend training either at Bukit Gombak or National Stadium.

  6. Tell us about some of your experiences and role models along the way.

    I had a very eventful life and every single experience that happened to me had taught me valuable lessons in life. Along the way, I would have met various people or personalities that would have guided me along. No doubt it was not smooth sailing all the way but even then, we learn from our mistakes and move on.

    As for role models, there are too many to list but I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them who helped me to be whatever I am today. THANK YOU!!!

    I would also like to thank with the deepest gratitude to a close friend of mine, otherwise, my life would be without any direction.

  7. What are you looking forward to right now? Your long term dream/goal?

    These past 3 years or so, has been a bit of a turmoil for me. Now with my life back on track, I am really looking forward to my future as some major changes will be made.

    Long term dream/goal? Now, I live my life on a day to day basis.

  8. ‘Wings Athletics Club’ is your running club. How has WAC helped you out in all

    From the point of view of a senior athlete, I would say that WAC gave me the opportunity to see that there are so many aspiring and potential athletes out there who could be developed.

  9. What do you think of the local athletics scene. What do you think is lacking that needs attention

    Full commitment from athletes. It has improved, but support from the authorities can still be better.

  10. Any advise for young athletes

    ” The Future Belongs To Someone Who Believes The Beauty Of Their Dreams”. Food for thought


Posted by Uncle Sha.
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