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