S’pore Self-Funded Lifting Brothers Get 6 Gold Medals At Asians Championship in Mongolia


Last Updated on 2018-12-13 , 11:55 am

Writing about sports puts everyone in the office to shame because walking to the pantry is exercise here.

Ten steps to the biscuits someone else left in the pantry? Exercise. Twenty steps to the toilet? Exercise.

Image: Studio Romantic / Shutterstock.com

But I digress. I should steer the attention away from our laziness and put the spotlight on two individuals who are completely unlike anyone in our office.

Brothers in Arms

Image: yahoo.com

Superhuman strength appears to run in the family as two brothers bagged 6 gold medals in the Asian Classic Powerlifting Championship 2018.

They are none other than Matthew and Matthias Yap. 

Image: yahoo.com

The annual competition, held in Mongolia this year, saw a stellar performance by the Singaporean team.

The team that represented Singapore this year consisted of five females and twelve males. In total, the team had a final medal tally of 41 gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze medals.

Image: Imgflip

The championship was attended by 18 nations and 253 athletes.

In case you’re a total newbie to the sport, let me just fill you in quickly so that you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Simply put, powerlifting is a strength sport in which athletes lift the heaviest weight in the squat, bench press and deadlift.


Sounds crazy? It sure is. Sometimes I can’t even lift my arm to reach out for that snack on my table. 

Self-funded athletes

And if the Yap brothers’ achievements aren’t enough to wow you, their sheer determination will.

Because Powerlifting Singapore is not categorized under the National Sports Association, athletes have to take on the duty of funding themselves.

This means that the brothers have to take on full financial responsibility for their sport.

The Yap brothers said that they have spent close to $30,000 of their own savings on international competitions.

Coming from a single-parent family, the Yap brothers are also mindful not to let their sports expenses take a toll on their family finances.

Last year, Matthew saved up from working 10-hour shifts at a Korean eatery. Still a student in a polytechnic, he had to juggle between studies and training.

His hard work was all for the chance to compete on the international stage. It paid off as he took the World Squat Record in the men’s under-66 kg sub-junior division.

This time, at the Asian Classic, Matthew bagged two gold, one silver and one bronze medals.

Matthias, on the other hand, took home four gold medals. He also has three national records to his name.


Eldest Brother as Inspiration

Matthew and Matthias have an older brother, Marcus.

In fact, it was Marcus Yap who introduced his brothers to powerlifting. He is also an inspiration to his younger brothers, holding two world records himself.

In an interview with Channel NewsAsia, the Yaps brothers expressed their gratitude for one another.

According to Matthew, “Whenever I feel not very confident in training, Marcus would reassure me that I just have to focus and calm my nerves, this helps a lot”.

The strong bond that the Yap brothers share is conveyed through Matthias’ words, “If one of us screws up, somebody will be there to say something. We have each other’s backs”.

So, my dearest readers…what have you been doing in your life so far?