Credit by Marcus Yap/The Straits Times | Matthew Yap (left) and older brother Marcus each took four golds at the Asia/Oceania Powerlifting Championships in December 2016
Singapore Teen Tops World Squat Record for Powerlifting
PEOPLE Singapore

Singapore Teen Tops World Squat Record for Powerlifting

Singapore teenager Matthew Yap broke the world squat record in the men's Under-66kg sub-junior division at the World Classic Powerlifting Championships on Sunday (June 18).

The 17-year-old hit 208 kilograms in his final attempt at the World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Minsk, Belarus.

After picking up a slight cramp during his first attempt, the 18-year-old skipped his second attempt to recover from it, before hitting 208kg on his final attempt in Minsk, Belarus.

Yap, who risked a non-medal finish if his final effort did not go well, said, "When I unracked the bar, I was praying as hard as I could to not cramp up at all."

"After I racked back the bar (and got the world record), there was a huge relief and I was very emotional. I remember just tearing up and being super thankful."

"I was thinking of all the obstacles we had to face and overcome. At that moment, nothing could break me," he said to The Straits Times.

The previous world record of 207.5kg was held by Sweden's Eddie Berglund, set in Texas last year.

Matthew Yap hit 208kg on his final attempt at the ongoing World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Minsk, Belarus. Image: INTERNATIONAL POWERLIFTING FEDERATION
Matthew Yap hit 208kg on his final attempt at the ongoing World Classic Powerlifting Championships in Minsk, Belarus. Image: INTERNATIONAL POWERLIFTING FEDERATION
Another Singaporean, Kenji Loy, was ninth with a combined 375kg in the sub-junior under-59kg division.

This result adds a gold medal to Yap's bronze (130kg) in the bench press and silver (550.5kg) in the overall standings at the competition, which ends on June 25. 

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, the 17-year-old paid tribute to his coach and brother Marcus Yap - a two-time world record holder in the sport- for getting him into the sport.

"I got into powerlifting because of my older brother. He first competed and when I witnessed it, I told myself I want to be on this platform one day."

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