SINGAPORE: In the heart of Singapore, a tale of determination and victory has taken root. Chloe Tang, an 18-year-old powerhouse, has swiftly ascended from a newcomer in the powerlifting scene to an international sensation, etching her name in the history with a radiant victory that resonates with the spirit of relentless pursuit.
Only four months after her inaugural powerlifting endeavour, Chloe embarked on a remarkable odyssey to the grand stage of the world.
She did not just compete; she conquered, seizing Singapore’s maiden world title in the sub-junior category (14-year-old to 18-year-old) on a global platform.
In the arena of the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) World Classic & Equipped Sub-junior and Junior Powerlifting Championships, Chloe’s ascent was nothing short of meteoric.
With grace and unyielding strength, she seized the gold in the sub-junior Under 57kg division, shattering not one, but two world records along the way.
Her journey to triumph led her to Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where she broke the sub-junior deadlift world record, previously held by Italian Auletta Giovanna.
Chloe’s monumental 173kg effort rewrote history, eclipsing the former mark of 163kg. But her awe-inspiring prowess did not halt there. Her total lift of 408kg soared past Finn Fanny Lamminen’s 392.5kg, a feat that solidified her place among the legends.
Chloe’s journey was adorned with other remarkable achievements, a squat lift of 155kg and a bench press of 80kg.
Chloe said: “My No. 1 priority was to clinch the gold, and everything else was just going to be a bonus. But that aside, I was gunning for the squat, deadlift, and total world records.
“Though I did not manage to get the squat record in the end, I’m still very surprised and happy that I managed to attain my other goals.”
Just last year, she was an Institute of Technical Education College East student whose visits to the gym revolved around personal fitness. The world of competitive powerlifting was a distant thought. Yet, destiny had grander plans for her.
A shift occurred within her, a metamorphosis that saw her evolve from a casual gym-goer to a fierce contender.
Winning her debut competition, the Tertiary and Junior Nationals in April, marked her emergence into the limelight and her qualification for the world stage.
Her inspiration was ignited by the training, camaraderie, the rush of adrenaline during competitions, and the unwavering support of loved ones.
The journey to Romania was not just a transition from home turf to foreign soil, it was a passage into a realm of fierce competition against the world’s best young powerlifters.
Shortly after hauling 173kg to rewrite the deadlift sub-junior record, she leapt off the mat and screamed in celebration.
She said: “At that moment, I was overjoyed and honestly overwhelmed with emotions.
“The competition meant a lot to me because my preparation leading up to it has been more than six months in the making.
“And it would’ve all been for nothing had I not executed on the day itself.”
In the narrative of Singaporean powerlifting, Chloe’s triumph joins a chorus of achievements. Senior athlete and coach Farhanna Farid had shattered the women’s Under 52kg deadlift world record multiple times, setting the stage for Chloe’s extraordinary feat. Others before Chloe had held world records, an illustrious lineage that infused her journey with a sense of legacy and aspiration.
Other Singaporeans have also previously held world records, Matthew Yap in the men’s sub-junior Under 66kg squat and his brother Marcus in the men’s junior Under 59kg deadlift and total.
Daniel Nobel was also a men’s sub-junior Under 120kg deadlift world record holder.
Powerlifting Singapore’s director of coach & athlete development Wesley Foo noted that the lead-up to the competition was challenging for Tang, who had to juggle training with her internship at chemical manufacturer Pride-Chem Industries.
Noting that Tang is only 18, he said: “With powerlifting growing among young people in Singapore, Chloe’s world champion title is a sign to all Singaporeans that, if you want something and work towards it, your dreams can become reality and that anything is possible.”
For now, the teenager is lapping up her first overseas competition experience, adding: “I had to take a long flight to get here and there were additional factors to deal with such as time zone difference.
“But the bright side of it is that I get to meet lifters from all around the world and make friends from other countries!”
Chloe’s journey is more than a personal triumph, it is an embodiment of human potential, a testament to unwavering dedication, and a reminder that within every individual resides the power to shatter limits and redefine what’s possible.
Her story beckons to dreamers and doers alike, urging them to forge their own paths, surmount obstacles, and bask in the radiance of their achievements.