High jump Hup Wei aims for finals at Tokyo 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Making his third appearance at the Olympics, national high jump Lee Hup Wei aims to make history as the country’s first track and field Olympian to qualify for a track final.

Based on the results of Rio 2016, the 34-year-old will need to jump in the 2.26m-plus range in the qualifying round, to secure his place in the final.

At the 2016 Games, compatriot high jumper Nauraj Singh Randhawa and eight other high jumpers narrowly missed the opportunity to be among the top 15 finalists, despite jumping 2.26m because they did not cross the mark on their first attempt.

Hup Wei, who will end his mandatory quarantine at the Kampung Pandan Sports Complex on Wednesday July 7, has a tall order after only managing to clear 2.10m, his best season at the Qosanov Memorial Athletics Championships in Kazakhstan, recently.

With about two weeks to go for the world’s biggest sporting showdown, Hup Wei hopes to improve his personal best of 2.29m at the Tokyo Games, where the high jump qualifiers are scheduled for July 30.

“These last two weeks have been crucial for me to polish my techniques and be at my best to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. Once my quarantine is over, I will immediately return to Bukit Jalil (Sports Complex) and start working there with my trainer (Aleksandar Gasparyan).

“I was able to jump 2.20m during training in Kazakhstan, but I had to stop competing after suffering an ankle injury. Now the injury is healed so I hope to do my best in Tokyo, ”he told Bernama when contacted.

The 2007 Asian champion qualified for Tokyo 2020 after placing 23rd in the world athletics rankings with 1,235 points, to allow for a Malaysian representative in the men’s high jump event for the fourth consecutive time at the Olympics since Beijing 2008.

At the 2008 Beijing Games, Hup Wei finished in 32nd place after reaching 2.20m, while in the 2012 Games, the Kajang native moved to 27th place after jumping 2.16m. .

The three-time SEA Games champion made history as the first Malaysian athlete to reach the final of the prestigious World Athletics Championships in 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, where he qualified for the final and set his new personal best of 2.29m. .

Hup Wei finished eighth among the 12 finalists of the world competition. Bernama

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