If you are a local sports buff and would like to witness some sports milestones being re-written, why not go down to the Gombak Stadium this weekend to catch the Akira Swift Open Athletics Championships (31 May – 1 June)?
According to my sources, there is a good possibility that you could see up to four national records being broken. It seems that Singapore Sports School jumps coach Valeri Obidko is quietly confident that his young charges will deliver the goods at the sand-pit, namely, Stefan Tseng (men’s triple jump), Mariam Shazana (women’s triple jump) and Matthew Goh and Calvin (men’s long jump).
Stefan and Mariam just broke their own national records two weeks ago at the Pahang Open in Kuantan. Stefan leapt 15.71m to break his 15.69m mark while Mariam cleared 11.66m to break her exisiting mark of 11.36m.
Clearly, Obidko thinks that the two wonder teens are currently on some sort of momentum, one which could take them to new records this weekend.
On the other hand, Kenneth Wang Kan’s men’s long jump record of 7.41m, which he set at the 3rd SAAA All-Comers meet on May 18, is being threatened by national junior record holder Matthew Goh and rank outside Calvin Cheng.
Matthew broke his own national junior record of 7.21m three weeks ago with a 7.23m leapt. He will be motivated to break Wang Kan’s mark because he needs to leap 7.45m before July to qualify for the IAAF World Junior Championships.
But it is Calvin who could be the dark horse to watch out for. Although his personal best is about 6.9m, he could well surprise everyone. According to sources, Calvin had achieved that distance against a strong head win but has cleared up to 7.5m at training.
So who knows? We could well see an intense battle between Matthew and Calvin on Saturday afternoon – one which could see a new record being set and then broken a couple of times.
And to think it had taken 26 years for someone – in this case, Kenneth Wang Kan – finally to break the national long jump mark (the previous mark of 7.34m was set by Ng Yee Ming in 1982).
Meanwhile, national junior sprinter Calvin Kang will be the one to watch in the men’s 100m. The 17-year-old student, who holds the national junior record of 10.55sec, will be boosted by the recent news that the SAAA may send him to the Beijing Olympics on a wildcard. As such, he should be motivated to put in a good performance to further convince the selectors.
Could this result in a new national junior record?
Here’s wishing the athletes all the best. We wait with crossed fingers and bated breath.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan