He went from knowing nothing about archery to winning a bronze medal in the sport at this year's South-east Asia Games.
Mr Zhang Jingkang, 21, first took up archery three years ago when he was a first-year student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP).
"At the beginning, I didn't think of winning competitions. I joined the NP Archery Club purely for fun and to make friends," said Mr Zhang, who won a bronze in the men's team recurve at the SEA Games in June.
He was awarded the Outstanding Sports Award last Friday.
Mr Zhang, who completed his diploma in marine and offshore technology earlier this year, is now serving his national service.
After just one year of training with the poly's Archery Club, he won three medals - one gold, one silver and one bronze - at the Polytechnic-ITE Games in 2012.
He then took part in the Asia Grand Prix in August last year and went on to represent Singapore at this year's SEA Games.
Mr Zhang told The New Paper: "Archery has improved my self-confidence and it gives me great physical and mental satisfaction."
His favourite thing about archery is "seeing the arrows fly".
"I also feel a sense of achievement when my arrows are grouped very tightly together on the target board."
Miss June Phoon, 38, staff adviser of NP's Archery Club, had nothing but praise for him.
"Jingkang is a very humble and down-to-earth guy with a gift for archery. He kept on learning even though he had achieved good results.
"He took his training sessions very seriously and worked very hard. It has all paid off," she said.
Mr Zhang was made vice-captain in his second year, and captain in his third year.
On him picking up archery at the age of 17, his archery coach, Ms Choi Mijin, 42, said strength, and not age, was most important in the sport.
"It doesn't matter what age you start learning. Archery equipment (the bow and arrow) is very heavy, about 20kg.
"Jingkang had the strength for it when he started out as he is a marathoner," explained Ms Choi, who has been coaching the sport for 13 years.
Mr Zhang also has a calm personality, making him a good fit for archery, she added.
"It is a very slow sport and he has the patience for it. He also has fighting spirit in him and doesn't ever give up."
This article was first published on August 3, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.