KUALA LUMPUR: When national swimmer Danny Yeo was about to face the media after his bronze medal swim in the 200m freestyle event, he had to compose himself first.
He knelt down facing the pool, fighting the urge to cry as two Team Singapore officials helped him up to speak to a group of journalists waiting poolside.
The 27-year-old had just battled a tough race to finish behind regional heavyweights Malaysia's Welson Sim and Vietnam's Quy Phuoc Hoang.
Yeo's new personal best time of 1:48.98s was not enough to win the race, as Sim clocked 1:47.79s to take gold while Quy clocked 1:48.07s to clinch silver.
But on a night when Singapore swimmers scooped five out of six golds on offer, Yeo was satisfied with his acheivement.
"I feel happy to get a medal at this event. From injuries, sickness and everything ... to get a medal and get on the podium today makes me feel pretty happy," he said.
This was his second medal of the meet after cliching gold in the 4x100m freestyle on Tuesday.
"I think to be able to get past it all, to race with the best in the region ... I think I'm happy to get bronze. I worked very hard, it's been a tough journey," Yeo added, choking back tears.
Last October, Yeo had said that he was thinking about hanging up his goggles after he had come down with dengue. A shoulder injury also derailed his efforts to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
But Yeo, who lost his father to cancer when he was 16, soldiered on and has dedicated his achievement to his loved ones.
"I just wanna thank my friends and family for supporting me in what I wanna do. I think this is just for them," Yeo said.