SINGAPORE — He has had a stellar 2023 - winning the Formula Kite title at the Sailing World Championships, earning Singapore a sailing spot at the 2024 Olympics, and winning the Sportsboy of the Year honours at the Singapore Sports Awards for the second straight year.
On Wednesday (27 September), Maximilian Maeder added the Asian Games gold medal to his growing list of accomplishments, as he dominated the Formula Kite competition at the Ningbo Xiangshan Sailing Centre to clinch Singapore's first gold at the Games.
The 17-year-old - the youngest winner in any Olympic sailing class competition after emerging triumphant at the world championships earlier this year - won every of his 16 races to enter the final as the top qualifier.
However, the final was called off due to weak winds, meaning the Singaporean could take home the gold medal with 13 net points. China's Zhang Haoran was second with 26 points, while Thailand's Joseph Jonathan Weston claimed the bronze with 38 points.
Maeder has been making waves since winning the first of his three Formula Kite youth titles in 2021. He also won the Formula Kite men's competition at the 2021 World Sailing Youth Championships, and rose to the top of the men's Formula Kite world rankings in September 2021.
His remarkable sporting achievements earned him a three-year sponsorship from beverage company Yeo Hiap Seng and the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation in 2022, supporting his training and equipment as he aims for Olympic glory next year.
"Congratulations to Max for winning the gold medal at the Asian Games Hangzhou," said Yeo's chairman Daryl Ng.
"His win is a source of immense excitement for all of us in Singapore. We look forward to Max's upward journey from here to the Olympic Games as he continues to inspire young athletes across the country.”
Ryan Lo wins first gold after two previous bronzes
There was also joy for another Singapore sailor, 26-year-old Ryan Lo, who clinched his first Asian Games gold in the men's ILCA7 event, after two previous bronzes in 2010 (optimist category) and 2018 (laser standard).
Like Maeder, Lo also won after the medal race was cancelled, meaning that he claimed the gold after finish top with 26 net points after 11 races. South Korea's Ha Jee-min claimed the silver with 33 points, while India's Vishnu Saravanan was third with 34 points.
Lo's gold medal also secured him an Olympic quota spot for the 2024 Paris Games.
Earlier in the day, Victoria Chan added a bronze medal for Singapore in the women’s ILCA6 event, after her medal race was also cancelled.
In all, Team Singapore sailors clinched two golds, two silvers and four bronzes at this Asian Games - an improvement from their showing in the 2018 edition in Jakarta, where they won one gold and one bronze.
Wushu's Jowen Lim clinches silver medal
Meanwhile at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Centre, Singapore's wushu athlete Jowen Lim clinched a silver medal in the men's daoshu and gunshu all-round event on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old, who missed out on an Asian Games medal by just 0.01 points at the 2018 Games, scored a combined total of 19.476 points to comfortably be among the medallists.
Lim - one of Team Singapore's two flag bearers for the Games - finished behind gold medallist Chang Zhizhao of China (19.626 points) and ahead of bronze winner Seraf Naro Siregar of Indonesia (19.466).
This is Singapore’s second wushu medal in Hangzhou, after Kimberly Ong clinched a bronze in the women’s changquan event on Monday.
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