Singapore Sportstar Spotlight: Man Behind The Mask, Jet Ng
What does a Jedi Knight and a fencer have in common? They both wield a sword-like weapon, are masters at duelling, and, very possibly, tap into the Force (or maybe even flirt with the Dark Side) - especially if the fencer is a huge Star Wars fan like national athlete Jet Ng, who dreamt of being both a Jedi Knight and a Sith Lord when he was younger - a fantasy that prompted him to take up fencing in the first place.
Now aged 24, his choice of weapon is the foil. Touches are scored with the tip on the opponent's torso only - compared to the épée, where the target area is the entire body; and the saber, where you can only score touches made above the waist.
And, what can we say, he's been foiling the plans of his opponents ever since. Back in 2015, Jet attained a 5th-place finish at the Cadet World Championships (men's foil), which was the then-highest position achieved by a Singaporean fencer.
Are you ready to be wowed further by this yan dao gia? En garde!
Character bio: Jet started fencing at the age of eight, inspired by the Jedi Masters and Sith Lords in the Star Wars franchise. Fast forward 15 years later, and he's left his name in the history books by ranking first in Singapore for under-17s, and fifth in the world.
Achievement unlocked: This fencer stormed the international stage guns (or rather, swords) blazing. Jet won a bronze medal at his SEA Games debut in 2017, persevering to the end with a torn ligament. Despite enlisting for national service after, he never let his guard down, and continued to train hard.
After completing NS, Jet came back with a vengeance, winning gold with Team Singapore at the men's foil team event at the 2019 SEA Games. Kudos to this mad lad!
Serving the nation: Jet has always believed in serving your best as a Singaporean Son, and also excelling in your sport. In an IG post, he demonstrated doing both at the same time:
"Serving the country with a sword and a gun. The toughest times give the best rewards. Honored to be an Officer Cadet and recognized for my efforts in Fencing Singapore."
While he admitted in this video that "juggling NS and elite sports is quite tough", he also acknowledged that the physical training in camp - runs, strength training, conditioning training - really helped out with his fencing.
In another Instagram post, Jet delved into his NS experience as a national athlete, and how he would "show them excellence in sports and NS is possible." He highlighted the support of those around him, and emphasised how they were the reason that kept him going:
My duty is to LEAD, to EXCEL and to OVERCOME
Finally commissioned as an Officer of the SAF. Thanks to all coursemates and instructors who made this journey such a rich and fulfilling experience.
Couldn't have handled the 38 weeks of tough training without you guys. Hope I've done y'all proud by donning that 2nd Lieutenant Rank.
To my parents, thank you for supporting me so much and fetching me to and from camps so far away, losing hours of sleep just to cater to my late bookouts and early book ins.
To my family and my "Siblings", Thank you for witnessing one of my proudest moments with me. I hope it inspired you guys and made y'all proud.
To my coach, thank you for being so supportive in both fencing and army, supporting me when all thought it was lost. I'll show them excellence in sports and NS is possible.
To my friends who supported me - my fencing teammates, my overseas friends, JC friends and of course my BMT mates, y'all kept me going through the tough times. Thank you.
Guys, I've finally earned that second sword... OCT Jet, out.
2LT Jet reporting for duty.
Level up: Right now, Jet attends Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. We look forward to his return to the international stage once he completes his studies. Allez!