Singapore's national wrestlers in the spotlight

Despite a lack of funding and proper training facilities, Singapore's national freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling team achieved 3 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze medals at the pre-Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar earlier this month. Read their story here.

Singapore wrestling

The secluded futsal complex at Fourth Chin Bee Road in Jurong, which houses the Wrestling Federation of Singapore (WFS).

Singapore wrestling

Walk all the way to the back and a small door leads to the WFS training room.

Singapore wrestling

Here in this cramped space, the wrestling mat measures 7.7m x 12m, a good five metres short of Olympic standards.

Singapore wrestling

The mat is designed for two competitors only - but as many as 15 athletes share the space at any one time.

Singapore wrestling

A typical training session lasts up to 2 hours every day, in the evening, after the wrestlers are done with school or work obligations.

Singapore wrestling

Aliaksandr Hubarevich, their volunteer coach, keeps a watchful eye on training. The WFS had to let go of long-time trainer Sergei Beloglazov due to budget issues.

Singapore wrestling

Hubarevich, who hails from Belarus, puts on a demonstration for the younger wrestlers. By day, he is a PhD student at NTU.

Singapore wrestling

SEA Games veteran Aaron Koh executes a double leg takedown finish on fellow bronze medallist Eddy Khidzer.

Singapore wrestling

Here, Koh pulls off a variation of a pin on Khidzer.

Singapore wrestling

The Olympic disciplines of wrestling are often confused with the dramatised, television spectacle of organisations such as the World Wrestling Entertainment.

Singapore wrestling

Perhaps for that reason alone, the WFS have met obstacles in attempting to promote the sport as a co-curricular activity in Singapore schools.

Singapore wrestling

To date, only Saint-Joseph's Institution and Huamin Primary School offer wrestling as either an enrichment programme or interest group. Nonetheless, it is a respectable feat for a sport in only its 5th year of existence in Singapore.

Singapore wrestling

Pictured are Hubarevich and fellow part-time coach Paulo Gumal Delos Santos, a Filipino wrestler who flies in on a need-to basis.

Singapore wrestling

The bronze medallists from the pre-SEA Games competition line up, from left to right: Aaron Koh, Eddy Khidzer, Gabriel Huang, Toh Xin Ran and Sean Lee.

Singapore wrestling

Arvind Lalwani with his gold in the 120kg freestyle and silver in the 120kg Greco-Roman events.

Singapore wrestling

Leonard Kong with two gold medals in the 96kg freestyle and 96kg Greco-Roman categories.