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