Singapore – From adrenaline-pumping supercar races to the gold-studded 28th SEA Games, Singapore’s sports scene is definitely stepping up its game to become the world-class sports hub that it aimed to be. Here at Audio-Technica (S.E.A.), we do not think that music and sports are two mutually exclusive entities. In fact, we strongly believe that music can be an excellent tool for athletes to use to improve their sporting performance and achieve their ideal form during trainings and competitions.
To act on this belief, Audio-Technica (S.E.A.) has set out to further highlight the linkage between music and sports, and strengthen the relationship between both the local music and sports scene. The company has recently appointed three very talented young athletes – Quah Zheng Wen, Lionel Khoo and Ang Chen Xiang – as our newest brand ambassadors to advocate this message to the rest of the sporting community here in Singapore.
Last week, our team caught up with all three athletes during the 28th SEA Games 2015 for a behind-the scenes Q&A session.
ATSEA: So what made you take up sports in the first place?
Zheng Wen: My older sister started taking up swimming when I was still very young. I was asthmatic at that time and my mother thought it would be good if I could also learn how to swim so as to improve my lung strength. After that, I spent a lot of time at the pool and I really enjoyed swimming. When I was in Primary 3, I participated in my first race. I loved the feeling of racing and competing, and I have been doing it ever since then.
Lionel: To be honest, I didn’t like water when I was a kid. One day, my parents brought me to the Chinese Swimming Club, which was pretty near my house. When I was there, someone pushed me into the pool and I started to waddle for the first time. Soon after, I decided to pick up swimming and eventually won my first competition in Primary 3 for the Chinese Swimming Club. After a few years, I moved over to the Swim Fast team where I began training intensively.
Chen Xiang: Being a hurdler himself, my Dad was the one who taught my brother and I how to hurdle. I was too short to be able to hurdle properly when I was younger and so it was only in my later secondary years that I was able to delve deeper into hurdling
ATSEA: What motivates you to continue pursuing your sport?
Zheng Wen: Passion. If you didn’t love the sport, you wouldn’t be doing it.
Lionel: The idea of winning not for anyone else, but for myself.
Chen Xiang Racing at top speed at 10 barriers is a great technical challenge. What really hooks me is the need to constantly adapt to changes in speed and strength. It is sort of a never ending game and I would like to see how far I can go!
ATSEA: How does music help you in your sporting performance?
Zheng Wen: I don’t like to let externalities affect me. Music allows me to shut all the banter out and prepare better for my competition.
Lionel: The waiting area before a competition can get quite rowdy and noisy at times. I usually listen to music before the race to calm myself down.
Chen Xiang: Numerous studies have shown that music assists sporting performance. Personally, music puts me into the zone, so to speak. It helps to isolate me from my environment and to focus.
ATSEA: What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
Zheng Wen: Fast-paced songs to get myself pumped up
Lionel: Usually EDM
Chen Xiang: Upbeat songs with a stronger bass
ATSEA: What are your future plans after the SEA games?
Zheng Wen: To compete in the World championship in Russia this year followed by the Olympics next year where I aim to be in either the semi-finals or finals. I believe that I have the chance to take my sport to the next level.
Lionel: To represent Singapore at the next Olympics (2016) and also to take a degree in either Psychology or Business.
Chen Xiang: To participate in the Olympics one day and compete for the country while balancing my medical studies at the National University of Singapore.
ATSEA: How do you plan to inspire the next generation of young athletes here in Singapore?
Zheng Wen: There is no stronger state in the sporting world than to compete with world-class athletes. In the past, I didn’t think Singapore could go so far but currently, we are competing on a global scale. I guess everything and everyone must start from somewhere. I hope to be a role model for future athletes to never stop believing in themselves, and always continue striving for better results.
Lionel: Breaststroke is not very strong in Singapore. The main aim of my swimming partner, Christopher, and I is to promote breaststroke and inspire future breaststroke swimmers. On the first day of the 28th SEA Games, both of us were standing on the winner’s podium. We are building a strong breaststroke culture in Singapore and I see a strong future with Breaststroke.
Chen Xiang: Let me start with an observation. The difference between 14.00 seconds and 13.99 seconds is a mere 0.01 seconds. This is obviously so insignificant, yet many hurdlers find it so difficult to go below the 14 second barrier. In my view, it is a psychological barrier. Having a successful pioneer athlete to cross such a psychological hurdle will allow next generation athletes to know that the possibilities are endless and that often, we limit ourselves. I want to be the pioneer who opens that psychological door for the next generation of Singaporean hurdlers.
Audio-Technica (S.E.A.) is proud to endorse Quah Zheng Wen, Lionel Khoo and Ang Chen Xiang for their excellent achievements in their own respective sporting careers. They have definitely set the stage for the next generation of Singaporean athletes to take on the baton and bring Singapore’s sports scene to even greater heights. From all of us here at Audio-Technica (S.E.A.), we wish these fine young men all the best in their future endeavors. Press on Team Singapore!