James Wong Tuck Yim
Athletes like James Wong are the best poster boys for sports. Not only did Wong achieve outstanding results in a long competitive career, he now contributes to the success of Singapore’s up and coming athletes. Wong heads the strength and conditioning unit at the Singapore Sports Council. He is a tremendous source of motivation and inspiration to the young athletes. Wong’s dedication to sports is such that he also voluntarily coaches disabled athletes, preparing them for national and international competitions.
He was Sportsman of the Year in 2004 – a tribute to a long career that began by chance when he was a teenager. Wong threw his first discus at age 15 and soon realized he had a talent for the sport. A year later, Wong at 16 years old broke the national discus record held by his then coach. At the 1987 South East Asian Games, Wong picked up a bronze medal. He followed that performance with a silver medal at the 1989 Games.
When he failed to win a medal at the 1991 SEA Games, Wong vowed to train harder and smarter for the next Games. His determination paid off in a gold medal in 1993 and another in 1995.
After training in East Germany, James took part in the discus and hammer throwing, clinching gold in both events at the 1997 SEA Games. In 1999, he set the National and SEA Games record, which still stands today. James went on to win consecutive gold medals in the 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005 SEA Games. Wong also had the honour of being the flag bearer at the 2003 Games in Vietnam.
Given his unbroken winning streak at the SEA Games, it’s not surprising that Wong has received five meritorious awards from the Singapore National Olympic Council in addition to his award as Sportsman of the Year in 2004.
In recognition of his many sporting honours and contributions to the Singapore sports community, James also was awarded the Singapore Youth Award in 2004.
For a young man who chanced upon a ‘discus-training workshop’, James has come a long way and deserves his recognition by the Straits Times as one of the ‘Top 50 Athletes of the Century’.