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Singapore cuesports team thriving as Games beckons

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Our Sporting Hero. My Neighbour. Peter Gilchrist.

SEA Games veteran Peter Gilchrist is poised to add to his medal collection.

Competing as a professional billiards player for more than 20 years, Peter Gilchrist knows a thing or two about bearing the weight of expectations.

He has three WPBSA World Championships titles, two medals from the Asian Games and six SEA Games medals. In spite of all that success, the 47-year old will take to the table hungry as ever, when the 2015 SEA Games cue sports competition begins at the OCBC Arena.

“I just can’t wait for it. It’s just really good, having the support. Normally, when you go away for the SEA Games, you don’t really know what to expect. Whereas here, we’ve put on a little test match earlier, which I thought was a really good idea, because it gave the rest of players a little bit of insight on what it’ll be like when the SEA Games comes around,” Gilchrist pointed out.

“At least we know what the arena is going to be like, we can practice on the tables, so there shouldn’t be any excuse.”

As defending champion for the Men’s English Billiards event, Gilchrist is naturally the favourite to defend his title, but the England-born Singaporean is hoping to secure victory in another category as well.

“I’ve never won a team gold, in the billiards, or doubles. That’s one that I’ve really wanted to win,” he shared.

“We’ve been really unfortunate, the last few SEA Games. Okay, I’ve managed to win the singles, but I’d like to win the team one, because that would mean just as much as the singles, really.”

The 1988 English Amateur Championship winner’s string of successes has seen him become Singapore’s most recognisable name in cue sports. However, the recent emergence of Aloysius Yapp, winner of the 2014 Under-19 World Junior Championships in nine-ball pool, has the country dreaming of another champion alongside Gilchrist.

“Aloysius Yapp is the world youth champion. He’s a really good player,” Gilchrist stated.

“I hope the occasion isn’t too much for him, because it’s his first SEA Games, and with it being in Singapore, there’s a lot of expectation on him. If he doesn’t perform, he’s got many, many years ahead. This will be a great experience for him. “

A good showing by Gilchrist, Yapp and the rest of the Singapore cue sports team would certainly go a long way to boosting the game’s standing in the country. Support them during the 28th SEA Games billiards and snooker competition from 6th to 10th June 2015.

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