Men 1000m Heat - Singapore's Lucas Ng Jun Jie in action (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Lucas Ng showcased his talents by sweeping three medals at the inaugural International Skating Union South East Asian Cup as international short track speed skating returned to Singapore for only the second time.
The 27-year-old ruled the JCube rink in Jurong East as he won the 500, 1,000 and 1,500 metres at the two-day meet featuring 65 participants from six countries in the region, including Australia.
The part-time skate coach, though, was refusing to rest on his laurels, with the March 11-13 world championships coming up in Seoul.
"I will work really hard to get better timings," he said.
Improving on his time and 33rd place finish at the 500m in the world championships last year is a big goal for Ng, as is helping grow the sport in Singapore ahead of its inclusion in the South East Asian Games in 2017.
The Malaysian Games will be the first to include ice sports and Ng hoped the South East Asian Cup would help spread the word about the adrenaline-filled frenetic paced sport.
"Definitely it helps to build the awareness of the sport, especially to the younger ones. We need the younger generations to pick up the sport," he said.
"Some people didn't even realise there was a rink this big in Singapore."
Singapore Ice Skating Association President Ms Sonja Chong was behind the organisation of the new meet. She praised her team of volunteers for making it a successful return, hoped Singapore could stage more events and was optimistic the SEA Games opportunity would help the sport flourish.
"With our inclusion in the SEA Games it is important that we have all the Southeast Asian countries doing short-track," she said.
"This competition will hopefully grow the sport in the region."
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Leader of the House Ms Grace Fu was on hand to present medals to the victorious athletes.
Chong said she was hopeful that the sport could provide Singapore with its first Winter Olympian.
"We would like to see one as soon as possible," she said.