Ivan Mok, Singapore’s sole taekwondo representative in the 21st Summer Deaflympics Taipei held at the end of August 2009 in Taipei, almost did the nation proud when he narrow missed a podium finish. Only one point separated him and a place in the semi-finals.
Ivan, facing Andrew Yick Chun Ki of Great Britain in the quarter-finals, was tentative in the first round. He was punished by his opponent who took a 2-0 lead at the end of the round.
After taking some valuable advice from his coach, Brian Peh, during the one-minute break, Ivan entered the arena for the second round with greater confidence. He showed it by using some high risk techniques which earned him a total of 3 points. The round ended with 3 a piece.
For the third round, Ivan decided to play a defensive game. That was a mistake! And it cost him the match and the opportunity to move on to the next round.
Said a disappointed Ivan: “I regret not keeping the same strategy I adopted for the second round. It was so close yet so far. Nevertheless, I have learned a lot from my first international exposure.”
Ivan was not the only one who had benefited from the outing.
Brian said: “I am honoured to be his coach in the Deaflympics and delighted to have gained invaluable insight on how the competition for the hearing impaired is conducted.
“It is my ardent wish that SADeaf can attract talented hearing impaired taekwondo players for future overseas competition. Plans are afoot for a World Cup Taekwondo for the Deaf. When it happens, we want to be there with a bigger and stronger team.”
Well, coaches, you have heard from Brian. If you have any potential hearing impaired students, encourage them to join SADeaf and do Singapore proud.