Lindswell Kwok lives up to reputation to land gold medal
Indonesian world champion lives up to her billing
She is one of the best in her sport, winning world titles in taijiquan and taijijian.
One of a handful of reigning world champions to feature this South-east Asia (SEA) Games, Indonesian Lindswell Kwok's pure and elegant routine was heads and shoulders above her competitors, as she won gold in the women's optional taijiquan with a score of 9.73 at the Singapore Expo Hall 2 yesterday.
Vietnam's Tran Thi Minh Huyen was second with 9.69, while Malaysia's Chan Lu Yi took bronze with 9.65.
Those watching would have been surprised to learn that Kwok's first four years practising wushu were filled with resentment.
She was only nine when elder brother Iwan helped her pick up changquan, a fast and forceful form of wushu.
"My coach, Master Supandi Kusuma, said I was too soft," recalled the 23-year-old Indonesian.
"I was just a kid then and I didn't like wushu because there was so much discipline involved - I had to run, lift and practise when other children were playing and enjoying themselves."
Kwok switched to taiji, a slower form of wushu, and made great strides.
"When I was 13, I started to pay more attention to the graceful movement of my seniors when they competed, and I aspired to also win medals for my country," she told The New Paper.
Such ambition requires huge sacrifices, though.
"From 15 to 20, I didn't go to school so that I could train full time, " said the doe-eyed beauty.
"I didn't have a normal teenager's life. I trained twice every day from Monday to Sunday for five hours each session.
"And my brother didn't allow me to have any relationships.
"I also had to cope with knee injuries."
Kwok went on to conquer in the world championships in 2009 and 2013, and has been undefeated at the SEA Games since 2011.
She said: "If we don't have dreams and targets, we will just pass each day aimlessly.
"I want to be a champion.
"That's why I practise even when I'm tired or injured or just don't want to."
Kwok loves the SEA Games, because she loves representing her country.
Her eyes light up when she talked about this year's world championships and the 2018 Asian Games.
Kwok exclaimed: "They will be in Indonesia! Whatever it takes, I will go.
"The Asian Games gold is one I have yet to win. It would be truly special if I get to win it at home."
If we don’t have dreams and targets, we will just pass each day aimlessly. I want to be a champion.
— Women’s optional taijiquan gold-medallist Lindswell Kwok