SPORTING HEROES > HALL OF FAME > BENEDICT TAN
Very few sportsmen can claim to have achieved success in both academia and sports and Dr Ben Tan proves that he has that extra edge by juggling a medical career and competing at international level in the Laser Class at the same time.
Since taking up sailing at the age of 12, Dr Tan spent many hours training on and off the water to develop his trademark consistency. In 1994, the result of Dr Tan's systematic training bore fruit at the 12th Asian Games in Hiroshima when he comfortably won the Laser Gold Medal without the need to sail the last race, thus ending a 14-year drought for Singapore.
Dr Tan's sailing skills were evident beyond the Asian arena - his consistency at major events including the Laser World Championships and the IYRU World Championships kept him within the top 50 in the official World rankings. Even at the 1996 Olympic Games in hurricane-prone Savannah , USA , he managed to finish mid-fleet in a field of pre-qualified Olympic-level sailors.
In Southeast Asia , Dr Tan's reign was undisputed, having won the Laser Gold at the 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1995 SEA Games.
For his outstanding performance at the Asian Games, Dr Tan became the first recipient of the $250,000 cash award under the SNOC's Multi Million Dollar Award Program. He was declared Sportsman of the Year three times, in 1991, 1994, and 1995. In recognition of his outstanding services to sports, the Singapore Government awarded Dr Tan, the Public Service Medal in 1993 and the Public Service Star in 1995. Timesport placed Dr Tan in the top 10 on their Millennium Series on Singapore 's Sporting Greats.
Upon retirement from competitive sailing, he applied his medical training and competitive sports experience to being a physician cum sports scientist for athletes. Dr Ben Tan is an all-round high achiever who serves as a role model and inspiration to many young Singaporeans.