APG 2017: Versatile Naren thrives at Para Games
21 September 2017
At just 24 years old, Naren Lee Sankar has already tried a wider variety of sports than most Singaporeans would have.
From swimming to skiing, horseback riding to water-skiing, the Team Singapore athlete who was born with cerebral palsy is a remarkable young man.
"Sports has always been a part of his life. Since he was six months old, I put him in the swimming pool," said Naren's mother Hilda Sankar.
Naren started hand cycling in 2010, but he made his Games debut in Singapore two years ago in the sport of chess, as cycling did not feature.
Team Singapore's Naren Lee Sankar took silver in the men's 12.3km H1-H5 individual time trial on Wednesday, Singapore's first medal in hand cycling. Photo: Sport Singapore
And when hand cycling finally made its way to the 9th ASEAN Para Games, Hilda and her husband Anil were in Kuala Lumpur to watch their son in action and he did not disappoint.
Naren finished with a silver in the men's 12.3km H1-H5 individual time trial on Wednesday, Singapore's first medal in hand cycling.
He followed that up with a gutsy performance in the Men's road race H1-H5 on Thursday, where he clocked 1:14.01 to finish in fourth.
The event was won by Malaysia's Lim Tao Keong, Indonesia's I Wayan Damai took silver while Naren's compatriot Noor Iskandaria clinched bronze. Yet after a gruelling 24.6 kilometres, one of Naren's first words after the race was to congratulate Iskandaria for his bronze.
Team Singapore's Noor Iskandaria clinched bronze in the Men's road race H1-H5 on Thursday. Photo: Sport Singapore
For his mother Hilda, this came as little surprise.
"He's a well rounder and sports is very much ingrained in him and the whole idea about sportsmanship, fair competition and supporting each other," she noted.
"We are very proud of him," added Hilda. "What's most important is that he tried his best and enjoyed himself."