Singapore, June 22, 2021: Singapore had to wait seven years to see a second gymnast qualify for the Olympic Games following the groundbreaking appearance of Lim Heem Wei in the women’s all-around at London 2012.
This honour has fallen on Tan Sze En, who represented Singapore at the 18th Asian Games in 2018 and has been preparing for the Olympics at Stanford University in the United States.
Singapore Gymnastics has now launched a social media campaign to encourage the public to take the 20-year-old gymnast to their hearts over the next few weeks.
“Let the world hear you roar, Singapore! Unite and send a message of support for Singapore Gymnastics Olympian Tan Sze En or record a cheer that she'll hear at the Olympics by using the hashtag #cheer4SzeEn,” the governing body said, noting it had been almost two years since she qualified for Tokyo through the 2019 World Championships.
Singapore Gymnastics said Tan had qualified for the Olympics “with flexibility, lots of sweat, determination and grit” and that she was “flipping up the training” as the Tokyo Olympics came into view.
With the one-year delay of the Olympics due to the Covid-19 crisis, Sze En shared how she felt about the postponement of the competition.
"I was quite upset when it was cancelled but, at the same time, I understood that the safety of everyone, especially the people in Japan, was of the utmost importance," she says.
One year on, and while it's been a long journey to Tokyo for this tenacious athlete, she is not letting anything get in her way of representing Team Singapore at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Sze En has been training in the United States for the past six months under the watchful eye of her coach, Tabitha Yim, and will fly direct to Tokyo from her home base in California just a few days before the official training kicks off.
Her Olympic Games appearance will also be a reward for her determination to overcome a string of injuries in recent years.
When asked what the greatest challenge she has overcome in her career, she answered: “All the injuries and surgeries I’ve been through, just making sure to remain patient and focus on rehab and recovery and eventually things will work out.”