Singapore Sportstar Spotlight: Sheik Farhan, Silat
What do Cristiano Ronaldo, Lebron James and our very own national silat athlete Sheik Farhan Sheik Alauddin have in common? Not only are they multiple champions in their respective sports, they have also been featured on the Forbes list.
For 23-year-old Farhan, this accolade is the latest in a long string of accomplishments for the poster boy of the UNESCO-recognised martial art here in Singapore.
Character Bio: Sheik Farhan comes from silat royalty. He is the son of Singapore Silat Federation CEO and two-time world champion Sheik Alau’ddin. With that legacy comes a certain expectation.
“Silat was just a part of my routine since I was very young, maybe a toddler,” he shares in a previous interview. There is always the pressure to do well and succeed in the sport not only for his family but his own pride too. It is a journey filled with hard work, personal sacrifice and failure, he admits
From battling untimely injuries to experiencing sobering losses, Farhan has overcome them all to reach the pinnacle of the sport.
Achievement Unlocked: As a three-time world champion in silat, Farhan has definitely left his own mark in the sport. He also won gold at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia and the 2019 Asian Pencak Silat Championships in China. The latter occurred despite Farhan stopping his training after enlisting for national service right before the competition.
His exploits have been recognised this year as he becomes the first silat athlete to be included in Forbes' 30 Under 30 Asia list for 2021. The list recognises entrepreneurs, scientists, activists and young leaders aged under 30 years old. And here we are being complete potatoes.
Level Up: True to his unassuming nature, Farhan is modest in acknowledging his inclusion. He even thought that there might have been a mistake initially.
"I was genuinely shocked to see my name on the Forbes website. But of course, I'm happy to be recognised," he says.
Farhan is currently training for his next championship tournament which will be held in July in Malaysia. He hopes that the recognition by Forbes will help the sport of silat gain new fans.
"I feel like this is more for the sport, than for me. I am just a face."