:: TAN HOWE LIANG
He is the face of Singapore weightlifting. This Olympic legend has been the Rock of Gibraltar for the past 4 decades. In his seventies, he continues to coach, guide and mentor Singapore lifters.
Olympic Silver medallist, TAN HOWE LIANG is, currently, our national coach. HOWE LIANG won in his weight category in 1960 in Rome. He is officially Singapore’s only Olympic winner in over-44 years. This Hall-of-Fame recipient will be featured in the new book, “Singapore Olympians – The Complete Who’s Who 1936-2004” to be launched next week.
More on TAN HOWE LIANG in Singapore Sports Council’s Hall of Fame website
:: OUR HISTORY
First Weightlifting Golds At The Commonwealth Games
In the 1958 Cardiff Commonwealth Games, Tan Howe Liang took the gold in the lightweight category by lifting 358 kg. Tan also established a world record in the clean-and-jerk. That same year, Tan also won a gold at the 3rd Asian Games in Tokyo.
In Cardiff, Tan Ser Cher also took the gold in the featherweight event with a lift of 310 kg.
Last Weightlifting Golds At The Commonwealth Games
At the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Tan Howe Liang won a gold by lifting a combined 390 kg in the middleweight category. At the same Games, Singaporean Chua Phung Kim set a record in the featherweight event by lifting 322 kg.
First And Only Olympic Medallist
Tan Howe Liang was the first and only Olympic medallist from Singapore when he won the lightweight silver medal on 9 Sep 1960 at the Palazetto Dello Sport Hall in Rome. 27-year-old Tan lifted a total of 380 kg to win that medal.
First To Receive IWF Gold Award
Tan Howe Liang was the first weightlifter in the world to be awarded the International Weightlifting Federation (national honour) Gold Award in 1984. He was also awarded the IOC Pin in 1989 for his performance at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
First Lightweight To Lift Over 135 Kg
Singaporean Wong Kay Poh was the first lightweight weightlifter in Malaya to clean-and-jerk over 135 kg at the Happy World Stadium in Mar 1954. He represented Singapore in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics in the middleweight category and was placed ninth.
First World-Level Weightlifting Medal
The first international medal by a Singaporean was won when weightlifter Thong Saw Park won a silver medal in the lightweight category at the British Empire Games in 1950. He was the highest-ranked Singaporean weightlifter then and was ranked tenth in the world in the lightweight category prior to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, in which he participated. Thong later went on to gain his doctorate from Queen’s University at Belfast and was Head of the Physics Department in the University of Malaya.
First Weightlifter At Olympics
Chay Weng Yew was placed sixth at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics in the featherweight division. Chay was the first to lift 272 kg at a Mr Singapore competition at the New World Stadium. He held the national title from 1948 to 1953 and was Champion of Champions from 1950 to 1953.
Best Bantamweight Weightlifter
Lon bin Mohamed Noor was Singapore’s best bantamweight weightlifter. He lifted 283.5 kg in training and finished eighth at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.
Most Memorable Turnaround
Weightlifter Chua Koon Siong fainted for seven minutes after hurting his brows and lips during his first lift at the 1981 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship. He returned to complete the second and third lifts with blood oozing from his brow and lips, and won the gold medal with a final lift of 137.5 kg.
Youngest Weightlifter In An International Tournament
Teo Yong Joo, a protégé of Tan Howe Liang, became the youngest participating weightlifter at age 21 at the 1983 SEA Games, where he won a gold. At the 1986 Commonwealth Games, he won a bronze.