S'pore girl, 14, is world wushu champ

A pint-sized teenager has delivered Singapore's first individual gold medal at the World Wushu Championships since 1995.

Still only 14, Ho Lin Ying topped the women's taijiquan (compulsory) competition in Kuala Lumpur.

It is her first world title.

Italy's Romina Quatela was second while Kazakhstan's Anel Kazat Kyzy took the bronze.

With that feat, Lin Ying became the first Singaporean to stand on the top step of the podium at the championships since broadsword exponent Ng Cheng Hye came in first at the 1995 event in Baltimore, the United States. He later became better known as Vincent Ng, an actor in local Chinese drama serials.

The Singapore Wushu Dragon and Lion Dance Federation sent 14 athletes to compete in 18 categories in the championships, which was held from last Friday to Tuesday. The competition saw entries from some 80 nations.

The federation's president, Mr Liang Eng Hwa, a Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, said: "The taijiquan is a very popular event and Lin Ying came up against many tough opponents, including many who were older than her.

"But she gave her best performance and it's a very big and pleasant surprise that she won."

Lin Ying, a Secondary 2 student at Nanyang Girls' High, said: "I really didn't expect to win the gold but I am glad my hard work has paid off as I had to balance training and exams before the World Championships."

When asked how she coped with the pressure, she replied: "I told myself to calm down and not think too much. Also, the presence of my parents, team-mates and coaches helped."

Samuel Tan Wei Han, 17, added a silver in the men's taijiquan (compulsory).


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