Heartiest congratulations to national jumper Matthew Goh!
The Singapore Sports Fan hears from his sources in Vietnam that the 18-year-old has not only broken the national open record for the long jump at the South-east Asia Junior Athletics Championships but has also qualified for this December’s SEA Games in Laos.
Apparently, Matthew leapt 7.53 metres – an improvement of 18 centimentres on his personal best of 7.37m - to win the event and break the national open and junior record of 7.45m set by Calvin Cheng last year.
It is also five centimetres further than the SEA Games qualifying mark of 7.48m, which is the bronze-medal winning distance at the last SEA Games in Korat, Thailand.
That’s not all.
The result is also a new SEA Junior Championships record. The previous meet record was 7.17m. Thailand’s Supanara Ayudara finished second with 7.48m while Malaysia’s Mohd Hakimi Ismail took the bronze with 7.23m.
This is a wonderful achievement for Matthew who has been quietly slogging away at the sand-pit this past year and it is definitely just reward for the consistency he has shown so far this year.
At the 4th All Comers Meet in April, he chalked up that personal best of 7.37m. The Auckland University of Technology student and Singapore Sports School alumnus also leapt 6.99m at the Arafura Games last month.
Now it remains to be seen whether he will be one of the three athletes standing on the podium at the Laos SEA Games at the end of the year.
Matthew is not the only jumper from national jumps coach Valeri Obidko’s stable to set a new national record today.
Mariam Shazana broke her national triple jump record for the second time this year and the sixth time in her fledgling jumping careeer when she cleared 11.73m.
The distance is three centimetres more than the 11.70m she set at the Negri Sembilan Open in May.
However, it is still off the 12.00m qualifying mark that she needs to meet in order to qualify for next month’s IAAF World Youth Championships in Italy.
The qualifying period for the World Youth Championships is from 1 January 2008 to 22 June 2009. So, unless the SAA is able to find her a couple more meets to compete in between now to 21 June, it looks like Mariam will miss the boat.
The SSF congratulates Matthew for his four achievements in a single day (national open record, national junior record, SEA Junior Athletics Championships record and qualification for the SEA Games) and Mariam for breaking her national record once again.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan