Sis misses out but Ang's mum gets in

Sis misses out but Ang's mum gets in
Mother and son duo, Low Luan Eng and Ang Han Teng, discussing the finer points of archery during training at Queenstown Stadium. They will be team-mates in this year’s SEA Games.

Low Luan Eng was initially looking forward to cheer on her son and daughter in archery in the SEA Games.

But while son Ang Han Teng made the team, daughter Hwee Ying, 20, could not even take part in a selection trial after she was grounded by a torn shoulder labral from a year ago.

Ironically, as things have now turned out, it is Low and Ang, 23, who will be flying the country's flag instead at the Kallang Field next month.

Low, 45, made the national team after emerging tops in a selection trial for a fourth woman compound archer.

"(The Archery Association) encouraged me to go for the trial because they needed another compound lady and I was lucky enough to do well for it," said Low, who represented Singapore for the first time in the Archery World Cup in Shanghai early this month.

She, however, hesitated to join the 16-strong Games squad after the trial.

"My concern is (my son). After I was selected, I was struggling because I didn't want to join the team and affect his performance," said the mother who feared if her presence would make it awkward for him and his team-mates.

But Ang did not feel she would be a liability to him.

"I told her it's her own decision... I told her if you want to join the team, I'll be fully supportive and I'll help in whatever way I can," said the NTU undergraduate who is also a compound archer.

Said Low, a mother of three who works as an internal auditor: "For me, archery is just a way of bonding with the kids... I never thought of competing at the SEA Games."

But, with her family's blessing, Low - who had picked up the sport in 2011 as a recreational member of the Telok Blangah Archery Club - joined the team but took a while to settle down.

"When she first joined the team, the other archers didn't know whether to talk to her as someone's mother or as a friend," said Ang.

"After she interacted with them, they started to acknowledge her as a team-mate and accepted her as a friend."

As for himself, he said: "Initially, (it was weird) when she was on the team but, after a while, I got used to it.

"I'll always try to help but she also needs to be self-sufficient (for the competition).

"So when I need to fix my bow, I'll also take the chance to teach her," he said, referring to the work needed to maintain the equipment.

Said Ang: "Our relationship at home is mother and son, but when it comes to archery, we are just team-mates. There's a clear line and we're more serious.

"When we're training, I'm bigger than her. But at home, she's the authority," he added, drawing laughter from his mother.

This article was first published on May 21, 2015.
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