Tag Archives: Calvin Cheng

Newsflash: Matthew Goh misses national long jump mark by 8cms

National jumper Matthew Goh narrowly missed out on breaking the national long jump record when he leapt 7.37m this afternoon at the Singapore Athletics Association 4th All-Comers Meet at  the Gombak Stadium.

The 17-year-old Singapore Sports School alumnus, who is currently pursuing a sports science diploma with the Auckland University of Technology, missed Calvin Cheng’s year-old national open and junior records of 7.45m by a mere eight centimetres.

The distance is also 11cm short of the SEA Games qualifying distance of 7.48m.

Still, the distance will be a new personal best for Matthew whose previous PB was 7.23m. He will also be boosted by the consistency he showed today at the sandpit – all his four jumps were way over the 7m mark.

Apart from his 7.73m, he also cleared 7.29m, 7.22m and 7.13m in his other attempts.

Matthew’s near-miss marks the third time this year a jumper from Georgian coach Valeri Obidko’s stable has narrowly missed out on a national record.

In February, national women’s triple jump record holder Mariam Shazana cleared 11.63m at the SAA 2nd All-Comers Meet, just 3cm short of her 11.66m national mark.

Last month, national men’s triple jump record holder Stefan Tseng missed his record of 15.78m with his 15.74m attempt at the SAA 3rd All Comers Meet. The 18-year-old needs to clear 16.08m this year in order to qualify for the SEA Games.

However, Obidko is not worried by the spate of recent near misses.

In fact, the Singapore Sports School coach and SAA national jumps coach is quietly confident that his proteges will rewrite the national marks soon.

“They are good, hardworking and very disciplined athletes,” he said.

“They put in a lot of effort at training and so I know they will reap the results eventually. It is only a question of when.”

Mariam is scheduled to compete in the triple jump at the 4th All Comers meet tomorrow (Sunday) and the three jumpers will also be taking part in the Thailand Open later this month (25-26 April).

The Singapore Sports Fan would like to wish our national jumpers all the best and hope to see them in record-breaking action soon.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

Related links:

7 Jan 2009 – Newsflash: SAA appoints Obidko as national jumps coach

21 May 2008 – Dawn of a new era in Singapore athletics?

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Newsflash: SAA appoints Obidko as national jumps coach

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 his arrival in Singapore in 2003, Obidko (centre of picture) has created an entire new generation of national jumpers. Picture taken from www.straitstimes.com

Since his arrival in Singapore in 2003, Obidko (centre of picture) has created an entire new generation of national jumpers. Picture taken from http://www.straitstimes.com

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

Related links:

21 May 2008 – Dawn of a new era in Singapore athletics?

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Hakeem breaks Singapore’s oldest track record

The report:

This tiny report appeared in today’s edition of TODAY (17 Dec 2008) amid all the buzz that’s been generated over Singapore’s Suzuki Cup semi-final clash with Vietnam.

I’m reproducing it here for the benefit of those who may have missed it:

Hakeem breaks oldest national track record 


By Tan Yo-Hinn


SINGAPORE’S oldest national record in athletics has finally fallen.


Last night, hurdler Abdul Hakeem Abdul Halim re-wrote the 110m hurdles record when he clocked 14.45sec to clinch silver at the 14th Asean University Games (Dec 10-21) at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 21-year-old shaved 0.31s off the previous mark of 14.76s, set 42 years ago by Osman Merican at the 1966 Asian Games in Bangkok.


The race was won by Malaysia’s Robani Hassan (14.07), with Thailand’s Suriya Judasri taking the bronze (14.55).


Hakeem’s previous personal best was 14.77s set last year.


The 1.83 metre-tall 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games bronze medallist could feature at next year’s SEA Games in Vientiane, Laos. He still has some way to go to catch up with Malaysia’s Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, who won the 110m hurdles at last year’s SEA Games in Korat, Thailand in a new Games record of 13.91s.

My thoughts:

My heartiest congratulations to Hakeem for breaking Singapore’s oldest track record.

I seriously can’t believe it’s been 42 years since Osman Merican first set the men’s 110m hurdles record – nor the fact that almost HALF A CENTURY had to pass before it was ever eclipsed.

But it was also good of the reporter – Tan Yo-Hinn – to put the achievement in context.

Hakeem may have brought the number of new national open and junior records that have been set this year to 19, and he may have brought the curtains down on what has been a pretty good year for Singapore athletics.

But the fact remains that his time was 0.38sec slower than eventual winner Robani Hassan of Malaysia.

Hakeem’s time is also about 0.56sec off the 13.91sec set by Malaysia’s Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian when he won the SEA Games gold last year. Incidentally, that time is a new Games record.

So the facts are clear for all to see:  while we rejoice at seeing new levels of excellence being set in Singapore athletics, our new standards – with the exception of Stefan Tseng in the triple jump – are not gold-winning material even at SEA Games level. 

My hope is that this new breakthrough will spur Hakeem on to greater heights (or times) in 2009. And I do hope to see him finishing among the medals at next year’s SEA Games.

After all, it will be a real treat to see a local talent winning something on the track for once instead of us always having to rely on foreign recruits to win medals in the throws, as has been the case these past few years.

To end, here’s the list of national open and junior records that have been broken so far this year, based on my research. I don’t claim that the list is comprehensive so if you think I may have missed out on any marks, please let me know and I will duly make the corrections.

National Open Records – 7

1. Men’s Triple Jump – 15.71m by Stefan Tseng*

2. Men’s Triple Jump – 15.78m by Stefan Tseng*

3. Men’s Long Jump – 7.41m by Kenneth Wang Kan

4. Men’s Long Jump – 7.45m by Calvin Cheng

5. Men’s 110m Hurdles – 14.45sec by Abdul Hakeem Abdul Halim

6. Women’s Pole Vault – 3.60m by Rachel Yang

7. Women’s Triple Jump – 11.66m by Mariam Shazana*


National Junior Records – 12

1. Men’s Triple Jump – 15.71m by Stefan Tseng*

2. Men’s Triple Jump – 15.78m by Stefan Tseng* 

3. Men’s Long Jump – 7.22m by Matthew Goh

4. Men’s Long Jump – 7.23m by Matthew Goh

5. Men’s Long Jump – 7.45m by Calvin Cheng

6. Men’s Javelin – 53.70m by Akid Chong

7. Men’s Javelin – 54.14m by Koh Thong En

8. Men’s 100m – 10.53sec by Calvin Kang

9. Men’s Discus (1.75kg) – 49.60m by Scott Wong

10. Men’s Shot Put (6kg) – 14.88m by Scott Wong

11. Women’s Triple Jump – 11.66m by Mariam Shazana*

12. Women’s 100m – 12.23sec by Balpreet Kaur


Note: Stefan and Mariam also broke the national and national junior records (15.71m and 11.63m respectively) at the British Age-Group Indoor Championships in February. But those marks are not recognised by the SAA as they occured indoors. If they had been, then we would be looking at a total of 8 new national open marks and 12 new national junior marks so far this year. 


Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

Related links:

24 June 2008 – Fields of gold: 14 national open and junior records and counting!

2 July -The SSF Interview: Akid looking to spear national mark next

6 July – And Balpreet makes it 15 (pity thate two others slipped away though)

5 Aug – Newsflash: Thong En spears down national junior record

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