Winter Youth Olympic Games only the beginning for Singapore speed skaters

21 Jan 2020

By Justin Kor in Lausanne

Alyssa and Trevor at the Lausanne Winter YOG (Photo: Vic Sent Pok)

While short track speed skaters Trevor Tan and Alyssa Pok make rounds on the ice rink, their speed skating careers are heading upwards.

Although the pair did not get on the podium at the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), their experience in Lausanne has been a valuable one, with opportunities to compete on the world stage hard to come by.

In the 1,000m event, Pok finished 22nd out of 29 athletes, while Tan finished 23rd out of 32 competitors. Pok fared better in the 500m event, as she clocked a personal best of 48.0 seconds. It was also a new national record for the ‘Junior C’ (13-14) category. She finished 25th out of 29 competitors.

Alyssa concluded her WYOG campaign a personal best in the 1000m and an age-group national record in the 500m event. (Photo: SNOC/Getty Images)

“This is my first major Games, so I think my performance was quite good considering that I was on the world stage for the first time,” she said of her Olympic debut. “I was feeling confident to do my best, no matter what.”

Tan on the other hand, had qualified for the quarter finals in the same event, but was later yellow-carded after being adjudged to have infringed the race by blocking a fellow competitor. This meant that he did not receive an overall ranking.

“I think my performance wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. But even though it was disappointing, I still managed to learn a few things and I know not to make the same mistakes again,” he said.

Although the Winter YOG is nearing its conclusion, the work is not over for the pair. While most Singaporeans will be celebrating the Lunar New Year this weekend, Pok and Tan will be in Italy to compete at the World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships.

Alyssa and Trevor’s families met with Mr Tan Chuan-Jin (SNOC President) in Lausanne

But they are determined to make such sacrifices if flying more rounds around the ice would create more chances for their careers to take off. “I’m definitely a little sad that I will not be able to spend time with my family over this period,” said Pok. “But at the same time I know that this competition will be a chance for me to beat my personal bests and do my family proud.”