National rower Saiyidah Aisyah finished third in her heats on Saturday morning (6 August).
She has qualified for the quarter-finals of the women’s single sculls at the Rio Olympics.
The 28-year-old rower clocked 8min 44.71sec to finish behind China’s Duan Jingli (8:18.57) and Jeanine Gmelin of Switzerland (8:28.10) in her heat.
The fastest qualifier overall was Mexico’s Kenia Lechuga Alanis who clocked 8:11.44.
The high-spirited Singapore’s first rower said: “I just relaxed and tried my best. What an amazing experience! I am proud to represent Singapore. There is a bit of pressure but it is going to be exciting.
“My coach (Australian Alan Bennett) always tells me to calm myself down and relax in these conditions, I’m happy to make it through to the quarter-finals.”
Although the water conditions were tough and choppy it didn’t make a problem for her.
“I had some training in choppy waters recently, in the United Kingdom and the United States,” she explained.
Saiyidah had earned her spot in Rio after winning the B final in Asia and Oceania Continental Olympic Qualification Regatta in Chung-ju, held in April in South Korea.
She moved to Sydney last year to train full-time in pursuit of her Olympic dreams and had used her life savings. She even had received crowd-funding earlier this year to fund the training expenses.
Aisyah’s next race will be on National Day.