This year’s Asian Champs ended with a bang. Been waiting a year for this to happen, and I’m glad that another chapter in my life is over. The target was to make Final A, and hopefully with that, it will qualify for me Asian Games in 2010.
I went into the regatta having to get over a poor performance at the Southeast Asian Champs. Mistakes made, lessons learnt, it was time I bounced back up and make it work. Having arrived on monday night, a day later than everyone else, again, there wasn’t any time to lose. The weather forecast was cold and rainy. But the weather took a 360 just 2 days later. The boat looked promising. On tuesday, after messing around and taking it for a spin on the regatta course, I found out it was 6.5kg overweight. Outrageous. A quick check with Gay and I quickly seeked help to get another boat. Fortunately with the help for networking and some pr, I changed to a brand new boat. Not exactly top class, but it’s better than carrying 6 kilos extra. Gave the opening ceremony a miss to rig the new boat up. Fortunately enough, the lm1x heats was going to be on thursday, which gives me a couple of training sessions on wednesday to make fine adjustments.
Everything was in check during the Heats. Nice weather and water conditions. First chance to put what JJ has taught me into use. Focus on the race strategy and get a decent time. Hong Kong qualified directly in Final A by winning my heat. This leaves the rest to fight it out in the reps.
The reps was very dramatic. It was do or die. Only 4 of the 6 in the reps would qualify for final A and I wanted to be one of them. The need to stay super focus could not be emphasized more. My race plan worked in the heat. Now i had to take the intensity up a notch, or maybe even a few. A rather strong headwind blew this time, so that posed quite a challenge. Everyone went out of the blocks much harder, and so did I. Going down the 2nd 500m, I was still in 5th. Remained focus and stuck with the plan. It all paid off. Big big effort to make it though, a huge sense of relieve and accomplishment.
I did the best I could in the Finals and still managed 6th. Disappointing on paper, yes. But I certainly acheieved something and I can be proud of myself. Coming into the regatta, I didn’t have the experience, the support like the other big names had. I trained alone for the entire year. The only communication Gay and I had was through email and phone calls and watching videos of me rowing. Dan P monitored my training intensity with his expert knowledge and experience. We all stretched ourselves and did the best we could given the amount of support and resources we had. Wouldn’t have been able to do it without the both of them. Just imagine what we could really accomplish together if we had just a little more resource. Off the charts! JJ joined the team 2 months ago. Huge thanks to him as well. An amazing addition and in just this short period of time, working with him has made huge improvements to my races. Disappointed that he will be going back to Brisbane.
I will do a roundup of this season soon. So watch out for that. For now, it’s time to let loose!