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Post SEA Games Interview – Gary Yeo, “I really wanted to make up for missing out on the previous SEA Games medal”
  • January 11th, 2010

Yesterday we featured Lee Cheng Wei, and today’s interview we spotlight the last of the national team 4x100m quartet member, Gary Yeo.

The former VS schoolboy sprint sensation, now awaits his entry to SMU. Gary shares his experiences in Laos, and his opinion on the state of local athletics.

Photos courtesy of Elfi Mustapa and Team Singapore.


Gary Yeo

Gary Yeo in Laos for the medal ceremony

Gary Yeo in Laos for the medal ceremony

Gender: Male

Affiliation: Wings Athletics Club, SMU

Coach: Melvin Tan

Post SEA Games result: 4×100m 39.82s 2nd (NR, PB)


So the SEA Games is over, what are you doing currently.

Right now I am awaiting entry into SMU and also coaching St Stephen’s Primary in their sprints; hopefully I will be able to find a relief-teaching job too.

Going into the SEA Games Laos what were your goals, and expectations.

Going into the Sea Games, I really wanted to make up for the disappointment of missing out on the previous SEA Games medal and also to try to break the National Record set in 2007. (Gary was part of the SEA Games 2007 4x100m team)

What was your normal daily routine when you were at Laos.

In Laos, going into competition week, I just stayed relaxed and being the second time that I am participating in the SEA Games really helped a lot.

Were you able to execute your competition plans by your coach (Hamkah and Melvin) successfully for the 4x100m finals. What was told of you for the finals? Again share with us your experience running the race.

Gary Yeo's face is full of concentration as he prepares to run the race of his life

Gary Yeo's face is full of concentration as he prepares to run the race of his life

Going into the race, stepping was given and also the freedom of changing the stepping prior to wind conditions.

The headwind was really strong so I got Elfi to cut down on the stepping.

Gary Yeo with a successful pass baton to Elfi Mustapa (2nd leg)

Gary Yeo with a successful pass baton to Elfi Mustapa (2nd leg)

This year was not really a good year for me in terms of starts so I tried to really make a really good start and luckily it paid off.

The head wind was really strong and I was struggling at the end but I still managed to pass.

Tell us about your coach, Melvin Tan, and some of the sacrifices made by him

Mr Melvin Tan really cares about the local athletics scene, he coaches the Wings athletes for free and being the Wings Athletic Club President, I feel that he has contributed a lot to the athletics community.

Mr Melvin Tan is like a friend to us, he is always ready to provide a listening ear to our problems and sits down with us to talk about practically everything. His training sessions are always interjected with humour.

Share with us the relationship and arrangement you have with your coach.

As I was serving NS until Nov, I could only meet up with Mr Melvin Tan twice to thrice a week. Weights session was done with training partners but sometimes he will come down to supervise us. There was no payment involved. He has corrected my running technique and also taught us a few useful tips for racing.

Coach and President of Wings Melvin Tan seen here with C.Kunalan

Coach and President of Wings Melvin Tan seen here with C.Kunalan

I think that he has sacrificed the most important thing in his life and that is time. He coaches us for free and so by spending valuable time with us, he has actually sacrificed a lot of his time with his family and with his job.

During competition period, on a weekly basis how often do you train. Share with us some of the stuff you do during training.

I tend to be more on the relaxed side during competition period, so I train around 3 times weekly when competition is coming. I do more explosive weights and sprint starts.

What are your plans for the next season.

My plans for the new season; hopefully I can enjoy my break and start training during mid-January, and also try to better my personal best.

If there anything in your current pursuit for gold that needs changes or more support.

I think there should be in place a nutrition program as it would help a lot in our nutrition needs and of course personal sponsors for sporting products.

What do you think can be done to improve the state of local athletics.

I think there should be a clear plan for the athletics in Singapore. As of now, I feel that everything is repetitive year after year and there are little to no improvements.

What are your opinion on the SSC/MCYS vs SAA spat and war of words.

I feel that using one event achievement to speak for the whole plan is not reflective of the actual on-going. Hopefully someone can take responsibility and of course learn from past mistakes and improve on the current situation instead of arguing over spilled milk.


Thank you Gary for your participation.

Please contact me using the below form if there’s any individual or corporate entity who wishes sponsor and be part of Gary Yeo sporting journey.

[contact-form 1 “Contact form 1”]

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Posted by Uncle Sha.
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