National triple jumper Stefan Tseng broke his national record for the sixth time in two years as he soared to a new personal sandpit milestone at the 13th Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Jarkata this evening.
The 17-year-old Singapore Sports School graduate cleared 15.78m not once but twice to break the prevailing record of 15.71m which he had also set at the Pahang Open last month. The new record is also a new national junior mark.
Alas, the distance was not good enough to win the strapping young man a medal as he eventually finished fourth. Bahrain’s Salman Mohamad Yusuf won the event in 16.64m while China’s Wei Jiang and Yang Yang were second (16.10m) and third (16.06m) respectively.
Nevertheless, Singapore Sports School jumps coach Valeri Obidko was reasonably satisfied with his protege’s performance. The Georgian told media sources that Stefan had achieved his second 15.78m leap whilst taking off 30cm from the line.
In other words, there is much scope for Stefan to continue breaking his record as he continues to perfect his take-off techniques.
This is the sixth time that Stefan has broken the national triple jump mark since he first obliterated Francis Nathan’s existing record of 15.24m with his 15.52m leap at the 2006 South-east Asian Hunior Championships in Chiangmai in July 2006.
This is also the second time that he has finished fourth in a major championships. He missed out on the bronze on countback at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Ostrava last year.
Here’s hoping he will make it third time lucky soon. In the meantime, our heartiest congratulations to Stefan and Obidko.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan
(Note: Picture of Stefan taken from www.ssc.gov.sg )