By Jerome Seow
Picture By Zainal Abdul Halim For SSC
Tell a young athlete that he only has two races to win and a medal is his and he would most likely crack under pressure. This is not the case for Team Singapore’s rising canoeing talent, Brandon Ooi (pictured) who is showing admirable poise.
Calm & Relaxed
Looking calm and relaxed after his comfortable victory over Iranian Ali Aghamirzaeijenaghrad in Round 3 of the men’s slalom event yesterday (Tuesday, 24 August), the 16-year-old spoke of his chances in the quarter finals today. He said: “The pressure is on the slalom paddlers to beat me. I’ll just race my own race and see what happens.”
He may have a cool head but it was not all plain sailing for him in Round 3. He did not have the best of starts and fell behind by half a boat’s length early. However, the gritty teenager got his act together to clock 1 minute 35.24 seconds for the win, almost four seconds faster than his opponent (1:39.13). Looking back, Brandon said: “I knew if I paddled according to form, I would beat him.”
Earlier yesterday morning, he clocked 1:33.49 in the time trial to be the sixth fastest qualifier. Slovakia’s Simon Brus was first with a time of 1:25.57. Brandon had also defeated Bulgaria’s Boris Nedyalkov with ease (1:35.24 vs 1:49.37). Next up for him is the quarter finals today when he will face France’s Guillaume Bernis (1:29.62), the third fastest winner of Round 3.