Ang Peng Siong



Once nicknamed Asia’s “Flying Fish” by the media,1 former competitive swimmer Ang Peng Siong (b. 27 October 1962, Singapore–)2 was ranked first in the world in 1982 when he clocked a time of 22.69 s in the 50-metre freestyle at the United States swimming championship.3 This was Singapore’s national record for 32 years.4 In the course of his 16-year career from 1977 to 1993, Ang won an impressive haul of 20 gold medals in eight Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, received the All-American Award for four consecutive years (1981–1984), and was the record holder of the fastest 50-metre freestyle time in Asia for 14 years (1982–1996).5 He also held the SEA Games record of 23.27 s in the 50-metre freestyle for 13 years (1987–2000).6

Early life
Ang is the fourth child in a family of five siblings.7 His father, Ang Teck Bee, was a former pool supervisor and had participated in the judo segment of the 1964 Olympics.8 The elder Ang introduced his children to sports at an early age9 – Ang learnt swimming from his father at the tender age of five.10 During his secondary school days, his father also put him and his siblings under a regimen of strength-building and weight-lifting exercises.11 Ang credits his Anglo-Chinese School swimming coaches, Wee Moh Nam and Lenn Wei Ling, as well as the weight-training programme his father put him through early in life, for his success.12

Competitive swimming career
Ang first represented Singapore at the age of 15 at the 1977 SEA Games held in Kuala Lumpur,13 where he won a silver medal for the 4 × 100-metre freestyle relay.14 In 1980, Ang took part in the Hawaiian International Invitational Swimming Championship15 and was the only non-American swimmer to qualify for the prestigious 50-metre freestyle sprint final.16

At age 16, Ang made his international debut at the 1978 Asian Games,17 and became the first Singaporean swimmer to be offered an overseas scholarship when he was talent-spotted at the meet.18 He was offered a full athletics scholarship to study at the University of Houston.19 Under the tutelage of coach Phil Hansel between 1980 and 1986,21 Ang improved tremendously.21 He went on to win the gold medal in the 50-yard freestyle event at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I for University of Houston in 1983.22

In August 1982, Ang became the world’s fastest 50-metre freestyle swimmer when he clinched the gold medal with a time of 22.69 s at the US National Championship held in Indiana.23 He held this record in Singapore for 32 years until it was beaten with a time of 22.47 s by 19-year-old Singapore swimmer, Joseph Schooling, in the 2015 SEA Games.24 Later in 1982, Ang also bagged the gold medal for the 100-metre freestyle and a bronze in the 100-metre butterfly at the Asian Games in New Delhi.25 The following year, Ang was awarded the title of “World’s Fastest Swimmer” for his 1982 triumph at the US championship.26

Ang was named “Sportsman of the Year” by the Singapore National Olympic Council in 1982, 1983 and 1984,27 becoming the first athlete to win the coveted award for three consecutive years.28 He was also inducted into the Singapore Sports Council Sports Museum Hall of Fame.29

In the course of his swimming career, Ang has had a couple of near-brushes with Olympic fame.30 In 1984, he won the 100-metre freestyle Olympic B consolation finals at a new national record time of 51.09 s.31 Then in the 1988 Seoul Olympics 50-metre freestyle B finals, he came in third at a time of 23.39 s, missing the A finals by one place.32 

Other significant highlights in Ang’s career include gold medal wins in the 50-metre freestyle event at the 1988 Asian Championships and the 1993 SEA Games held in Singapore, plus a silver medal in the same event at the 1990 Asian Games held in Beijing.33 In 2002, at the age of 40, he took 24.64 s to complete the 50-metre freestyle event at the World Masters in Christchurch, a mere two seconds shy of his time achieved two decades ago.34 At the same meet, Ang displayed his versatility by taking home the gold medal in his age group’s (40–44 years old) 50-metre butterfly event in a time of 26.52 s. He also finished third in the 50-metre breast stroke and the 100-metre freestyle, clocking a time of 57.42 s in the latter event, and was placed fourth in the 50-metre backstroke competition.35 

Retirement from swimming
On 11 August 1993, Ang announced his retirement from competitive swimming.36 At the time, Ang needed to raise S$75,000 for his participation in the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games but suitable sponsorship was not forthcoming.37 Three years later, he founded the APS Swim School at Farrer Park38 and has since groomed many sports personalities like Christel Bouvron and Mark Chay.39 He also coaches swimmers from the Singapore Paralympics Team.40 


In 2009, Ang became the national swimming head coach, the first Singaporean to be appointed to such a high-profile position by the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA). He was tasked not only with coordinating and planning the policies, strategies and national objectives for the national team, but also organising and lending focus to the team. Taking on this new portfolio meant that Ang had to quit his position as managing director of Aquatic Performance Swim School.41

Besides his stint with the SSA, which had ended by September 2012,42 Ang has also been the head coach of the Singapore swimming team at various major events such as the SEA Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.43 He was also one of the Board of Governors of the Singapore Sports School.44  

Awards
1982: Sportsman of the Year45
1983: Public Service Medal;46 Sportsman of the Year
1984: Public Service Star;47 Sportsman of the Year
1987: International Olympic Committee Award for Excellence in Sports & Studies48   



A
uthor
Joshua Chia Yeong Jia



References
1.
Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 107. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
2.
Low, K. T. (Ed.). (2006). Who’s who in Singapore 2006. Singapore: Who’s Who Pub., p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 920.05957 WHO)
3.
Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Singapore Book of Records. (2006). Singapore book of records. Singapore: Author, p. 149. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SBR-[HIS]); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 111. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
4.
Chua, S. Y. (2015, June 8). SEA Games: Schooling wins 50m free gold, breaks Ang Peng Siong’s 32-year-old national record. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
5.
Low, K. T. (Ed.). (2006). Who’s who in Singapore 2006. Singapore: Who’s Who Pub., p. 36. (Call no.: RSING 920.05957 WHO); APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y
6.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y
7.
Wu, S. S. (1990, October). Peng Siong’s splashing success. Teens. Singapore: Eastern Pub. Associates, pp. 26–27. (Call no.: RSING 170.20223 T); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 109. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
8.
Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 167. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 110. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
9.
Wu, S. S. (1990, October). Peng Siong’s splashing success. Teens. Singapore: Eastern Pub. Associates, pp. 26–27. (Call no.: RSING 170.20223 T); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 109. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH)
10.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y
11.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y; Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 110. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
12.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y; Wu, S. S. (1990, October). Peng Siong’s splashing success. Teens. Singapore: Eastern Pub. Associates, pp. 26–27. (Call no.: RSING 170.20223 T); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, pp. 110, 119. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
13.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y; Wu, S. S. (1990, October). Peng Siong’s splashing success. Teens. Singapore: Eastern Pub. Associates, pp. 26–27. (Call no.: RSING 170.20223 T); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 111. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
14.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y; Wu, S. S. (1990, October). Peng Siong’s splashing success. Teens. Singapore: Eastern Pub. Associates, pp. 26–27. (Call no.: RSING 170.20223 T); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 111. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
15.
Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 167. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL); APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y
16.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y 
17.
Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 167. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL) 
18.
Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 167. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL); Wu, S. S. (1990, October). Peng Siong’s splashing success. Teens. Singapore: Eastern Pub. Associates, pp. 26–27. (Call no.: RSING 170.20223 T); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 115. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
19.
Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p.167. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL); APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y; Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, pp. 115–116. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
20.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y   
21.
Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 167. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL)  
22.
Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 170. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL); APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y; Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 113. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
23.
Seah, J. (1982, August 22). Electrifying Peng Siong…. The Straits Times, p. 32. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore Book of Records. (2006). Singapore book of records. Singapore: Author, p. 149. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SBR-[HIS]); Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, pp. 167, 170. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL)  
24.
Chua, S. Y. (2015, June 8). SEA Games: Schooling wins 50m free gold, breaks Ang Peng Siong’s 32-year-old national record. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/ 
25.
Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Ho, S. (1993, August 12). Peng Siong calls it a day at lastThe Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Singapore Book of Records. (2006). Singapore book of records. Singapore: Author, p. 149. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SBR-[HIS]); Wu, S. S. (1990, October). Peng Siong’s splashing success. Teens. Singapore: Eastern Pub. Associates, pp. 26–27. (Call no.: RSING 170.20223 T)
26.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y   
27.
Ho, S. (1993, August 12). Peng Siong calls it a day at lastThe Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Low, K. T. (Ed.). (2006). Who’s who in Singapore 2006. Singapore: Who’s Who Pub., p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 920.05957 WHO)
28.
Singapore Book of Records. (2006). Singapore book of records. Singapore: Author, p. 149. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SBR-[HIS]); Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 170. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL)
29.
林方伟. (2002, July 17). 走进时光隧道 体育博物馆收藏我国体坛的骄傲. 《联合早报》[Lianhe Zaobao]. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 114. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH)  
30. Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore Olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, pp. 167, 170. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL)  
31.
Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, pp. 169, 171. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL); Singapore Book of Records. (2006). Singapore book of records. Singapore: Author, p. 149. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SBR-[HIS]); APS Swim School. (20-[HIS]14). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y   
32.
Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore Olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 167. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL); Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 114. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH) 
33.
Ho, S. (1993, August 12). Peng Siong calls it a day at lastThe Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
34.
Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Chan, T. C. (2002, March 26). Master Ang splashes to gold in 50m butterflyThe Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG. 
35.
Chan, T. C. (2002, March 26). Master Ang splashes to gold in 50m butterfly. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y  
36.
Ho, S. (1993, August 12). Swimmer’s decision to retire is a sad but wise oneThe Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.  
37.
Ho, S. (1993, August 12). Peng Siong calls it a day at last. The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Chua, C. J. (1993, June–July). His fire is still burning bright. Man: Life & style. Singapore: Shusse Pub. (SEA), p. 74. (Call no.: RSING 052 M) 
38.
APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y; Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 109. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH)  
39.
Wong, J. (2009, March 24). SSA turns to AngThe Straits Times, p. 31. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 117. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH)  
40.
Tey, C. W. (2005). The cruising human torpedo: An interview with freestylist Ang Peng Siong. In Achievements off the beaten track: Stories of Singapore sports veterans. Singapore: Candid Creation Publishing, p. 120. (Call no.: YRSING 796.09225957 ACH)
41.
Wong, J. (2009, March 24). SSA turns to Ang. The Straits Times, p. 31. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
42.
Wong, A. (2013, October 31). Turner back doing what he does best. Today. Retrieved from Factiva via NLB’s eResources website: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/
43.
Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Low, K. T. (Ed.). (2006). Who’s who in Singapore 2006. Singapore: Who’s Who Pub., p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 920.05957 WHO); Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 169. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL)
44.
Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS])
45.
Ho, S. (1993, August 12). Peng Siong calls it a day at last. The Straits Times, p. 30. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Koh, T., et al. (Eds.). (2006). Singapore: The encyclopedia. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, p. 32. (Call no.: RSING 959.57003 SIN-[HIS]); Low, K. T. (Ed.). (2006). Who’s who in Singapore 2006. Singapore: Who’s Who Pub., p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 920.05957 WHO)
46.
Low, K. T. (Ed.). (2006). Who’s who in Singapore 2006. Singapore: Who’s Who Pub., p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 920.05957 WHO); APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y   
47.
Low, K. T. (Ed.). (2006). Who’s who in Singapore 2006. Singapore: Who’s Who Pub., p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 920.05957 WHO); APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y  
48.
Low, K. T. (Ed.). (2006). Who’s who in Singapore 2006. Singapore: Who’s Who Pub., p. 35. (Call no.: RSING 920.05957 WHO); Aplin, N., Waters, D., & Leong, M. L. (2005). Singapore olympians: The complete who’s who, 1936–2004. Singapore: SNP Reference, p. 167. (Call no.: RSING 796.09225957 APL); APS Swim School. (2014). Our founder. Retrieved 2016, April 7 from APS Swim School website: http://www.apsswim.com/#!biography/c1k0y



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic. 

Subject
Recreation>>Sports
Sports, recreation and travel>>Water sports>>Swimming
Personalities
Sports and games
Swimmers--Singapore--Biography
Personalities>>Biographies
Ang Peng Siong, 1962-