Tan Howe Liang

Tan Howe Liang

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Tan Howe Liang

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Tan Howe Liang (; born 5 May 1933 in Shantou, Guangdong, China) is a weightlifter from Singapore who earned himself a place in history as the first Singaporean to win an Olympic Games medal. He did this in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome where he won the silver medal in the lightweight category. Tan also broke oldest-standing world record in the lightweight category in the clean and jerk in 1958.

Early life

Born in Shantou, China, Tan was the third of seven siblings. In 1937, he emigrated with his family from China to settle in Chinatown of Singapore. Tan's Teochew father died in a death-house at Sago Lane in Chinatown when he was 14. Tan left school after his first year at a secondary school.

Weightlifting career

Tan's weightlifting career started when he walked past the former Gay World Amusement Park with his friends one day. There, Tan witnessed his first weightlifting competition and became intrigued with the sport.

Tan showed potential for weightlifting. After one year of training, Tan, then 20, became the national junior and senior champion in the lightweight division in 1953.

The lack of financial support meant that Tan had to pay out of his own pocket to finance his training and expenses. At that time, Tan was working as a clerk at Cathay Organisation. He also worked as a mechanic. However, he plodded on, after promising his late father that "One day, I will be the strongest man in the world".

In 1956, Tan failed at his first attempt in the Olympics at......
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