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Post SEA Games Interview – Matthew Goh, “Being the best long jumper Singapore is not enough for support, I guess I’ll have to try harder”
  • February 20th, 2010

We continue our post SEA Games interview, and we sure was amazed by our last interviewee dedication, Rachel Isabel Yang, the Republic only full-time women pole vaulter.

Today we highlight a young long jumper who holds the national record in the event, set at the last SEA Games in Laos, Matthew Goh.

Photos courtesy of Matthew Goh, Stefan Tseng, Lee Cheng Wei and Team Singapore.


Matthew Goh

Matthew Goh

Matthew Goh

Gender: Male

D.O.B: 17/Jul/1991

Affiliation: Auckland University of Technology, Singapore Sports School Alumni

Coach: Dr. Valeri Obidko

Post SEA Games result: 7.62m, 6th (NR, PB)


So the SEA Games is over, what are you doing currently (Interview was done in early January).

Currently, I am waiting for enlistment into National Service. I completed my diploma in Sports Science and Management from EASB.

Going into the SEA Games Laos what were your goals, and expectations.

Going into the SEA games, I was looking for a medal.

The previous bronze medal in Korat was 7.48m in 2007.

2005 it was 7.45. 2003 it was 7.34.

Having a personal best of 7.53 done at the SEA Juniors on Ho Chi Minh city earlier in 2009, I am going there with a medal hope.

What was the normal daily routine when you were at Laos.

Wake Up, eat breakfast, slack, Eat Lunch, train, Eat dinner, slack and sleep. It’s really nothing much.

Matthew trains in Laos

How was your SEA Games village experience?

The experience was more of a nervous encounter. Since I was there 10 days to compete for 1 day. The rest of the days before the competition was really just preparing myself for competition and waiting for the big day to arrive. The village was alright. there was nothing much there really.

For your event, you had a sublime first jump, which broke the national record and put you in the lead. After that you had three fouled jumps, and couldn’t match your first distance attempt. What happened during the competition. Were you able to execute your competition plans by your coach successfully.

After the first jump. I really thought I had a shot at the medal. After all, no jumper had jumped 7.62m in SEA games and DIDN’T get a medal in history.

So because of that I was momentarily distracted and my focus was kind of off. However, in the 4, 5 and 6th jumps, I regained top condition.

Although it did not better 7.62m, they were better jumps both by my coach’s and my opinion. The final jump was around the 7.80m region.

Matthew Goh jumps into the record books with a 7.62m leap

Although I’m disappointed, My coach is proud of me. Jumping 7.62m at 18 years old is a milestone.

It also meant that in the year 2009, improved my PB from 7.23m to 7.62m. A 39cm improvement is the biggest improvement curve in the past 3 years for me.

Asking for more would be on the verge of getting greedy. (Imagine a sprinter from 11.0 to 10.50)

If you were to relive your SEA Games in Laos once again, is there anything you would do differently?

Everything was good. The only thing is that now I know 7.62m doesn’t get you a medal, so I won’t be so quick to switch off in future.

Tell us about your coach, Valeri Obidko right and the relationship you have.

My coach is the man. He has a big plan for me. He executes his plan and I deliver. It’s simple.

Dr. Valeri Obidko

Dr. Valeri Obidko

Tell us of your own sacrifices. What do you think you’re missing out compared to an average teen, being a full-time student and juggling with training/sports. Do you even feel that you’re missing out on anything, or the sports itself is your own self-gratification.

Doing sport has often times made me a much busier person. I’m a person who enjoys alot of other things outside of track and field. such as movies, hanging out etc just like a normal teen, but to juggle that with training.

It blocks out half of my day 5 days a week. Traveling plus training, changing, traveling again takes up my whole morning!

During competition period, on a weekly basis how often do you train. Share with us some of the stuff you do during training.

I train 5 times a week. During competition period, my training volume tapers and I do mainly, run-ups and short run-up jumps.

Little volume of high intensity plyometrics sometimes.

Maintenence of strength by doing gymwork.

What are your plans for the next season.

In 2010 I’m aiming for 8m. It’s a big dream, my lifetime dream rather.

However If I end of with a 7.85 or above I would have been very satisfied.

It would put me in top 20 juniors or even top 10 juniors in the world.

Goals and expectations for the next SEA Games 2011 in Indonesia?

SEA Games 2011 awaits Matthew

The next SEA games I would be going for Gold. But I’ll have to see what the army does to me. that I have limited control over.

If there anything in your current pursuit for gold that needs changes or more support.

This is a very relevant issue. Because although I do long jump for the good sake of excellence and long jumping, I’d always appreciate more recognition and monetary support.

Up to this level, I am a two time SEA junior gold medalist and the national record holder of Long Jump in Singapore and I’m 18 years old, but I still buy my own spike shoes, pay money for my transportation, pay for my apparel, supplements.

Long jumping has never brought me monetary rewards. it has only allowed myself to feel an internal sense of satisfaction in which most people around are not able to share in.

I understand in order for personal sponsorship and support to come, I need to prove myself.

So yes, I’d really like to have a personal sponsor and much more funding for my training.

So if being the best long jumper Singapore has ever had (national record) is not proving myself enough, I guess I’ll have to try harder.

What do you think can be done to improve the state of local athletics.

Matthew Goh with the rest of Team Singapore. What will the future of Singapore Athletics be ...

Basically, Athletics at present is not a sport well celebrated in Singapore.

Much of the general public do not appreciate the competitiveness and the technicality of the sport let alone the events themselves.

Again, it would be better if after all those hard work and training/sacrifices, you get some recognition and external rewards.

What are your opinion on the SSC/MCYS vs SAA spat and war of words.

But on a final note. I feel I cannot complain.

This jumping ability and mental prowess has been a gift to me. I feel it’s only good and responsible of me to use my gifts well.

I’m glad that at the end of the day, I got so much stories and experiences that truly enrich my life. something I can share with my kids and what-not in the future


Thank you Matthew for your participation.

Please contact me using the below form if there’s any individual or corporate entity who wishes sponsor and be part of Matthew Goh sporting journey.

[contact-form 1 “Contact form 1”]

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Posted by Uncle Sha.
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