Syed Adam Emir Putra is an 18-year-old fencing sports athlete from Kuala Lumpur. He is also a HELP University student studying for his Edexcel A-Levels. He took up fencing since he was nine, having followed in the footsteps of his brother, who was a national fencer, and after watching Star Wars.
As a budding fencing athlete, Adam has won numerous awards and medals. Among them are the National Fencing Championship 2017 Senior (Silver), the National Fencing Championship 2017 Junior (Gold), Federal Territory Open Individual 2017 (Gold), the ASEAN Southeast Asian University Fencing Championship 2017 (Silver) and the SUKMA Malaysian Games 2013 Kuala Lumpur (Gold).
Besides winning medals, Adam’s biggest accomplishment thus far is to qualify for the 2017 SEA Games and obtaining the No. 2 ranking in fencing in the country. Adam is not one to rest on his laurels and believes that he has to constantly train hard to succeed. Hence, he feels that when one is training in fencing, one should always focus on the techniques of fencing rather than be obsessed with winning.
He points out that when training, you have the freedom to try and experiment with new moves and strategies unlike during competition. “When you are playing in a competition,” said Adam, “You should be confident with what you want to execute.”
And with this belief in mind, Adam’s goal right now is to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, as representing Malaysia in the Olympics has always been an objective of his ever since he started fencing. He sets his goals by being realistic because he believes that you cannot expect to be a world champion without a guideline or a target to focus on. For him, he usually tells himself to start small. “From winning club championships to state championships, national championships and now international championships, as you complete every target at a certain pace, you will naturally pave a way for success in higher levels of competition.”
When setting his targets, Adam points out that his biggest challenge is to balance his education and training schedule effectively. He says that it is tough as his daily training starts from 3:30 pm until 7 pm, and can last until 9 pm or later.
Despite training his hardest, failure is always inevitable for any athlete, and Adam just keeps telling himself to stay positive and to always take stock of how far he has come. When he sees how much he has accomplished, he becomes more motivated to push himself even further. Plus, he can always count on his family’s support and knows that they are behind him and cheering him on all the way.
Adam lives by the motto: “Pain is temporary, it will subside.” He believes people can work up to their limits, but what they do not discover is how much they can push themselves to go that extra mile, and once they do that, they can finally unlock their true potential and reach their end goal.
That being said, Adam is a hard-working individual who will work very hard to fulfil his goals. His inspiration, for now, would be to balance his sports and studies. Ultimately, once he has completed his A-levels at HELP University, he aims to further his studies overseas and earn his degree in Computer Science. By furthering his studies overseas, he believes that the exposure he will gain from training with international coaches will improve his abilities further and help him to become a better athlete.