Tag Archives: Matthew Goh

Dylan Wong ends National Schools medal quest on a golden high

There’s a really good – albeit short – story in TODAY about Singapore Sports School student Dylan Wong (see below).

The 16-year-old not only won the Boys B Division triple jump with his leapt of 14.27m at the National Schools Track and Field Championships yesterday (Monday), but also set a new championship record with the distance. It was 7 centimetres longer than the 14.20m set by Benjamin Ong in 2012.

But what was more heartwarming about Dylan’s gold was the fact that he couldn’t even make the Sports School team last year because he was “not good enough”.

I am also given to understand that the gold – and the silver he garnered in the long jump last week – are the first medals that Dylan has ever won at the Schools Championships. What a wonderful way to end one’s find participation at the National Schools Championships.

Will Dylan ever make good on his stated ambition to one day break the national long and triple jump records set by Matthew Goh (7.62m) and Stefan Tseng (16.04m) in 2009? I don’t know – but then again, he is being trained by Valeri Obidko, the former coach of Matthew and Stefan, so if there is one person who can help a jumper to realise his full potential, it would be the former Russian-turned-Singapore citizen, whose proteges are all in the national record books.

Congratulations, Dylan, and all the best in your jumping endeavors.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Dylan makes the jump from zero to hero in one year

(TODAY Online, April 15, 2014)

SINGAPORE — What a difference a year makes.

Twelve months ago, Singapore Sports School (SSP) student Dylan Wong was not even selected by his coaches to compete at the National Schools Track and Field Championships because he was, in his own words, “not good enough” for the level of competition.

Yesterday, the Secondary 4 student not only won the Boys “B” Division title in the triple jump at the annual meet, he also set a new championship record while doing so. Dylan leapt 14.27m at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium to erase the existing mark of 14.20m set by Benjamin Ong — also from SSP — in 2012.

It was also his second medal of the Championships — he had won a silver in the long jump last week with his 6.60m effort.

The 16-year-old, who is 1.75m tall, credits his growth spurt for his success at this year’s meet.

“You can say puberty hit me late, or I am a late bloomer, but my increase in height has helped me a lot in my sport,” said Dylan, who has grown by more than 10cm in less than six months.

In fact, Dylan has now set his sights on eventually breaking the national long jump and triple jump records set by Matthew Goh (7.62m) and Stefan Tseng (16.04m).

“During triple jump trainings in the past month especially, I have been consistently doing 14.50m jumps … I feel that it is easier now that I am taller, and also because I have been working on my landing which is my weak point,” said the teenager, whose uncle is former national high jumper Wong Yew Tong who still holds the national record for the event.

There were also new records set in the Boys “C” Div Discus (1kg) and the Girls’ “B” Div 200m yesterday. Raffles Institution’s Jonathan Low, 14, set both a meet and national Under-15 record when he hurled 53.66m to eclipse the 51.54m recorded by Jordan Chia last year.

His nearest competitor, Alfred Leong from Hwa Chong Institution, finished more than eight metres behind with his 45.62m effort. SSP’s Kugapriya Chandran, 16, clocked 25.51sec in the 200m sprint to break the record of 25.64s set by Eugenia Tan in 2012. ADELENE WONG

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National Schools Track and Field C’ships: A new Stefan Tseng in the making?

It looks like Russian coach Valeri Obidko has done it again.

After producing the likes of national-record breaking jumpers like Stefan Tseng and Matthew Goh – who should both be in the mix for a SEA Games medal at next year’s Games now that their national service commitments are over – it looks like the national jumps coach has another jumping gem on his hands.

The boy’s name is Benjamin Ong, and this afternoon, the 16-year-old Singapore Sports School student served notice of his potential as the future successor to Stefan by breaking the 21-year-old B Boys triple jump record at the National Schools Track and Field Championships.

Benjamin’s best effort of 14.42m obliterated the 14.19m record set in 1991 by Huang Jiaping of Chinese High (now known as Hwa Chong Institution), and was 0.80m further than nearest rival and schoolmate Muhd Afiq Hasan (13.62m).

While it is clear that Benjamin has the talent and potential to go far, to call him the next Stefan Tseng could be a little off the mark – for now.

It must be remembered that Stefan was already clearing 15m at age 16. In fact, he broke the national triple jump record of 15.24m back in July 2006, when he was 16. He did it at the Asean Schools Championships in Chiangmai when he cleared 15.52m.

I’m waiting to see if Benjamin can clear the 15m mark by this year, and whether he can go near the 15m distances that Stefan was setting back then. I hope he can, and it will definitely be exciting to watch.

Today’s action at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium produced another stunning result: Eugenia Tan, the teammate and arch-rival of rising sprint star Shanti Pereira, threw down the gauntlet at her good friend in the best way possible – by finishing ahead of Shanti in the B Girls 100m semi-final, and breaking her B Girls record which she only set last year.

Eugenia clocked 12.39sec to break the record of 12.43sec, and finish 0.31sec ahead of Shanti who finished second in 12.68sec.

It remains to be seen whether Shanti was playing possum today, holding back a fair bit in her tank for next week’s final. Whatever the case, it means that we are set for a thrilling showdown in the B Girls 100m next week.

Eugenia’s feat also means that Shanti saw two of her national schools records being wiped out in the space of one week. Last week, it was the Sports School’s Nur Izlyn Zaini who erased her 2010 C Girls 100m record of 12.74sec by clocking 12.73sec in the heats.

Finally, heartiest congratulations too to Cedar Girls’ Low Seow Ting for equalling the C Girls high jump record. She cleared 1.55m, which is the same height as the prevailing record set by See Toh Mun Yee in 1994.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

 

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Matthew Goh could have been a potential bronze medallist at the IAAF World Juniors

The men’s long jump final at the ongoing IAAF World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada, was concluded last night.

South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga won it with 7.99m. Eusebio Caraces of Spain was second with 7.90m while Stewart Taylor of Canada took the bronze with 7.63m.

You can read their post-competition interviews here

It makes you wonder whether young Matthew Goh could have snared a podium finsih if he had been allowed to defer his national service and take part in the World Juniors.

After all, he did set his national record of 7.62m at last December’s South-east Asia Games, and under national jumps coach Valeri Obidko, has been known to improve on his distances by 0.2m every year.

Matthew’s father did appeal for his son to be allowed to compete at the World Juniros and to enlist for national service after that, but Mindef turned it down because “the circumstances were not exceptional to warrant granting of deferment.”

You can read Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean’s response to Nominated Member of Parliament Joscelin Yeo on Mindef’s reasons for not granting Matthew’s request for a three-month deferment here.

Yes, one can always argue that one can never tell if Matthew can set a new national record at the World Juniors, or even finish among the top-three. But then again, I wouldn’t have bet against him doing so given his annual rate of improvement, and the young man’s steely determination.

This is another example of us shooting ourselves in the foot when it comes to Singapore sports. We will never know until we try, and yet we are not willing to give it a try.

And I guess this is why Singapore sport can never go far.

And when we fail to reach the heights, we lament, beat our breasts and complain that our sportsmen don’t have the hunger or the talent. And then we proceed to flood our sports with foreign exports.

And when these naturalised citizens go on to win top honours, and when the general public doesn’t quite share in the manufactured joy, the authorities then slam the people for being ungracious, and for failing to recognise the sacrficies and hard work that these naturalised citizens have put in to achieve sporting glory for Singapore.

Well, I am sure Matthew was also willing top put in the sacrifices and hours of hard work too.

He just wasn’t given the chance because “the circumstances were not exceptional enough to warrant the granting of deferment”.

Bollocks.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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