Newsflash: Calvin Cheng smashes national long jump mark at S’pore Juniors

Singapore Sports School graduate Calvin Cheng smashed two national long jump records in spectacular style at the 34th Singapore Junior Athetics Championships at Gombak Stadium this morning.

The lanky 18-year-old lad leapt a stunning 7.45m in his first of three jumps in the Boy’s U-20 event to shatter two national records: Matthew Goh’s national junior mark of 7.23m and Kenneth Wang Kan’s month-old national open record of 7.41m.

Most importantly though, Calvin’s feat will mark a new psychological breakthrough in the young athlete’s fledgling jumping career. It is no secret that the Auckland University of Technology student had been bogged down for a long time by the mental albatross of not being able to breach the 7m mark during competitions.

Although he was officialy credited with a personal best of 6.94m, Calvin was consistently able to clear 7m during traning. In fact, he even ceaed 7.5m once. Hwever, he was never able to replicate that sort of form during actual competition.

Ths, in turn, cost him dearly as it meant that he could not qualify for this year’s Asian Junior Athletics Championships and the World Junior Championships. He will be overaged by the time the next editions of these two competitions come around in 2010. It is also no secret that he has been left bitterly disappointed by this. 

But now he has not only broken the 7m psychological and phydical barrier, he is also just 0.03m shy of qualifying for a major competition in Singapore’s sporting calendar – the SEA Games, which is a must-compete milestone in every athlete’s wish-list ( Note: the qualifying standard for every Games is the bronze-medal winning time or distance of the previous Games. I 2007, Malaysia’s Mohd Suhaimi Mohd Syarul Amri won the long jump bronze in 7.48m )     

With just one leap, Calvin is now just three centimetres away from qualifyng for the 2009 SEA Games in Laos, a stunningly amazing feat for a teenager who only picked up the long jump four years ago when he was a student at St Joseph’s Institution.

In fact, Calvin was so stunned by his achievement this morning that he was not able to focus on his next two jumps. He subsequently cleared 7m and 6.9m.

The Singapore Sports Fan congratulates Calvin on his remarkable feat and hopes that this will be the first of many record-breaking feats to come in the near future.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

Related links:

30 May – Newsflash: Four national records to go at Akira Swift Open?

21 May: Dawn of a new era in Singapore athletics?

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6 thoughts on “Newsflash: Calvin Cheng smashes national long jump mark at S’pore Juniors

  1. mentholatum says:

    is this confirmed??

  2. singaporesportsfan says:

    Dear Mentholatum
    Thank you for your feedback. After seeing your question, I hunted around for the 2007 SEA Games results and found that I had made a mistake. The bronze medal winning distance at the 2007 Games was 7.48m, which means that Calvin is now 0.03m shy of qualifying for the 2009 Games. I have amended my report accordingly. Thanks once again for the push to recheck my facts.
    Singapore Sports Fan

  3. mentholatum says:

    hi, i did not realise that mistake too,
    my intended question was actually if the distance is verified and certified and everything and that it is really a national record?

  4. singaporesportsfan says:

    Hi, according to my local athletics sources, it is a national record. Once again, if this is found to be inaccurate, I will make the amendments accordingly. Thanks once again. Do drop me an email of your thoughts about this site. I would appreciate your feedback.

  5. J says:

    this is a good news! but i don’t understand why such a comment from mentholatum! why the disbelief that a new national record has been set?

    it’s encouraging to hear that singaporean athletes excel, especially a local born athlete! it shows the government’s efforts in nurturing young athletes are showing results. keep going guys!

  6. singaporesportsfan says:

    Dear J

    I think mentholatum probably had his doubts because of the confusion surrounding the record immediately after the feat.

    Track officials had measured the wrong imprint (probably from an earlier jump) and gave a shorter distance. A protest by Calvin’s coach, Chan See Huey, was filed immediately and eventually, the officials rectified their error and certified Calvin’s distance as the new national record.

    In my mind, I am convinced that it is a record because I know that Calvin had been clearing 7m during training and that he has even cleared 7.5m at training even though his PB was 6.94m.

    And I think he achieved his feat because he was no longer bogged down by the pressures of trying to qualify for the Asian Juniors and World Juniors.

    So, good on him. Like you said, it is always wonderful to read or hear about Singapore-born athletes excelling. But I hope Calvin learns from this great experience and work on steeling his mind and his mental skills from here on.

    Thanks for visitng the site.

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