Model teenager eyes gold

Model teenager eyes gold

He wears boyish good looks and shows off a ripped physique.

He's 19, and has already been approached to be a model.

Brandon Ooi is also about to head off to Myanmar to try and win gold for Singapore.

The canoeist will compete in the K1 500m event at the upcoming South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

The former Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student was sounded out by two modelling agencies after taking part in the inaugural

Youth Olympic Games here in 2010. But he turned down the offers as he wanted to focus on his studies and sport.

In a recent e-mail interview with The New Paper, the full-time national serviceman said: "I haven't done any modelling jobs yet; it would be a great opportunity to experience it, but I don't think modelling attracts me as a long-term career at this point.

"I am still young though, so who knows what can happen," added the 1.73m-tall athlete, who will be featured topless in an upcoming issue of local weekly magazine 8 Days.

Ooi, who won bronze medals in the K2 200m and the 1,000m events at the 2011 SEA Games, picked up the paddle in his secondary school days, after initially being selected for the softball team.

He said: "My impression at the time was that softball was a girls' sport and I didn't really want to do it.

"So I looked at other sports I qualified for and I thought canoeing was fun even though I didn't know a single thing about the sport at the time."

His interest in canoeing waned quickly after he found out how tough the training was.

He started skipping training sessions until his teacher-in-charge intervened.

INSPIRED

Ooi recalled: "He saw something in me that I didn't and through countless talks with him I finally was inspired and got down to doing some hard work in training, even more than the rest.

"I was constantly improving, and once I started winning more and more against athletes from my batch, and then my seniors, I just couldn't help but enjoy the feeling.

"I think it's a little bit of an addiction - you just want to keep winning, you are not satisfied with just beating the same people, you want to go further and beat even better opponents and eventually scale the highest peak possible."

Ooi already has next year's Asian Games and the 2015 SEA Games - which Singapore will host - in his sights.

The teenager, who is juggling his NS duties with training now, said: "The current schedule is not ideal and, hopefully, by getting another result at this SEA Games, where I am aiming for gold, I will be able to obtain more help to be able to continue fighting for medals at the 2014 Asian Games and SEA Games in 2015."

With his good looks and physique, one would expect Ooi to be a big hit with the ladies.

But, he complained: "I wish I had a little attention from the opposite gender. There has actually been too much male attention... I haven't really noticed if there has been attention from girls and if there were any (Facebook requests), I tend to be sceptical about the friends made through social media.

"Even though I get a lot of Facebook requests - mostly from guys - I usually ignore them and the attention doesn't really bother me. "And don't worry, pretty ladies out there, I don't have a girlfriend!"

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