SINGAPORE – Torrential rain pelted down on Bishan Stadium yesterday afternoon, just as pole vaulter Chong Ming Xun was getting ready for his attempt at a new national record height of 4.82m at the 2nd National U23/Open Track and Field Championships.
Despite the bad weather halting the event and derailing his plans, Chong’s second jump of 4.70m earlier was enough to clinch the men’s open gold medal ahead of Desmond Boey and Poh Wen Jie, who finished second and third, respectively, with their marks of 4.10m and 3.80m.
But the 2011 SEA Games bronze medallist does not plan to stop there.
Chong, 24, is one of several promising pole vaulters to have emerged in recent years, joining national record holder Sean Lim and Chan Sheng Yao – who holds the best youth mark of 4.64m – in the chase to better the national mark of 4.81m.
A computing student at the National University of Singapore, Chong is also gunning for gold at next year’s SEA Games in Myanmar after tasting success last November.
“My target is to hit 4.82m at the SAA (Singapore Athletic Association) Series in December, and qualify for the SEA Games,” said the pole vaulter, who had struggled with hamstring and knee injuries this season.
“I would like to catch up with the two Thai athletes who beat me at the last SEA Games. The gold medallist (Kreeta Sintawacheewa) did 5.1m then. I would like to break the 5m mark and have targeted that for March. I think I can do it and I want to aim for gold.”
by: Low Lin Fhoong
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