A little bird tells me that Valeri Obidko has been appointed by the Singapore Athletics Association as its new national jumps coach.
Essentially, the appointment is a natural progression for the 44-year-old Georgian who first came to Singapore in 2003. After all, most of Singapore’s national long and triple jumpers are currently training under him and were initially discovered and groomed by him at the Singapore Sports School.
Since joining the Sports School as its jumps coach in 2003, Obidko, 44, has single-handedly produced a stable of national open and junior record breakers.
His proteges include national men’s triple jump record holder Stefan Tseng, Calvin Cheng (national long jump record holder), Mariam Shazana (national women’s triple jump record holder) and national junior long jump record holder Matthew Goh.
The former Soviet Union junior jumper, who holds a personal best of 8.03m in the long jump, will continue to be the head coach of the Sports School’s Track and Field Academy. So, his appointment by the SAA is essentially an added responsibility.
But it also means that the 44-year-old Georgian is now better able to chart a long-term developmental programme for his proteges and continue to maintain control over their training once they graduate from the Sports School.
In an interview with The New Paper three years ago, Obidko revealed several goals which he had set for himself upon his arrival in Singapore in 2003.
The first of which was to produce a World Youth Championships medallist. That he narrowly missed by a sliver at the 2007 World Youth Championships after Stefan Tseng missed out on the triple jump bronze by countback.
Obidko’s other goals include producing a SEA Games champion by 2009 and an Asian Games medallist by 2010. It will be interesting to see if he is able to deliver on his goals.
The Singapore Sports Fan congratulates Obidko on his new national appointment and wishes him not only a great year ahead. And yes, I would really love to see one of our jumpers winning a gold at this year’s SEA Games.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan