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Rachel vaults to a new high
  • June 12th, 2008

We’ve a new guest writer on-board and would like to be known by pseudonym “SingaporeSportsFan”. From the author’s blog profile, the Singapore Sports Fan is a 30-something year old long-time observer and fan of the local sports scene. Today is SingaporeSportsFan first entry here. Do visit SingaporeSportsFan blog at singaporesportsfan.wordpress.com

The report:

rachel-yang-1.jpg

mypaper (mypaper.sg) reported today that national pole vaulter Rachel Yang soared to a new national record at the Taipei Open last month. The 26-year-old cleared 3.60m to break her own national mark of 3.50m. She also finished third in her event. Rachel is now aiming to clear 4.00m by the end of the year.

Here’s a picture of the report. You can also find the story in its entirety (as in what it wold have looked like physically in the print edition) here (pg A 14 )

My thoughts:

rachel-yang-2.jpg
Rachel seen here sizing up her event

I was really pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon this story today. Even though Rachel’s achievement is a month old, it was still news to me because I don’t recall having read it in any of the main English papers.

I guess also that mypaper chosed a more featurish approach to announcing Rachel’s new national mark because the news was no longer fresh (even though it hadn’t been reported previously ). No matter, I enjoyed reading it all the same because it gave me a better insight about the athlete.

So my heartiest congratulations, Rachel! And may you continue to break your national record many times over.

rachel-yang-3.jpg
On her run-up during one of the local competition here

The 26-year-old is probably still some distance away from being a possible medal contender at next year’s SEA Games in Laos – after all, the qualifying height for the 207 Games was 4.60m.

But as the saying goes, all good things come to those who perservere. And judging from the story on Rachel, she does come across as a fighter.

Back to the lack of media coverage on Rachel’s feat – I wonder why this could have happened in the first place? It can’t be that the media isn’t interested judging from the sort of increasing coverage that they have been giving to local athletes.

rachel-yang-4.jpg
Rachel in her pole vault attempt

Was there no press release by the Singapore Amateur Athletics Association? Or does the SAA usually not do such things?

And if so, why not? Shouldn’t this be part and parcel – the bread and butter, in fact – of a national sports association’s scope of work: to find as many opportunities as possible to highlight the achievements of their athletes?

Wouldn’t this be one of the most fundamental things that one, as the governor of the sport in your country, would want to do – draw public attention to all the good things that are happening in their sport?

In the light of this, this is my call to action to everyone out there who visits this site: if you do know of any achievements by our national athletes (from seniors to juniors to school athletes) that have gone unnoticed by the media, please let me know, either by dropping a comment at this site or by sending an email to sporesportsfan@yahoo.com.sg.

I promise you this: if it is newsworthy enough, I will not only publicise it on this blog, I will also alert my contacts in the mainstream media as well as the other websites that write about local sport ( such as redsports.sg and singaporeathletics.com )

Going back to Rachel’s new national mark – do you know that this means that four new national open records and three national junior records have been set this year?

june08-stefan.jpg
Stefan Tseng in picture taken 1st All Comers 2007 (photo by Gio)

Triple jumpers Stefan Tseng and Mariam Shazana set new national men’s and women’s open and junior records at the Pahang Open last month (Stefan cleared 15.71m while Mariam jumped 11.66m) while Kenneth Wang Kan set a new national men’s long jump record (7.41m ) at the 3rd All-Comers Meet.

Finally, Matthew Goh set a new national junior mark in the long jump earlier this year with his 7.23m effort.

And the exciting thing is that there could be more to come this week.

Stefan, Matthew and national sprinter Calvin Kang, who holds the national junior mark of 10.55sc, are among part of the Singapore team competing at this weeks 13th Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Jakarta ( see www.asianathletics.org )

june08-mariam.jpg
Mariam Shazana in picture taken 2nd All Comers 2007 (photo by Gio)

You can probably forget about them setting any Asian junior records because the current marks are way beyond what they can possibly achieve right now. For example, the boy’s triple jump mark is 16.73m, the long jump mark is 7.85m and the 100m record is 10.26sec. (Mariam isn’t competing because she hasn’t met the qualifying mark of 11.77m ).

But who knows what the higher level of competition may bring out of them? If the conditions are right, and the athletes are in the zone, we could see a few more national marks added to this year’s tally.

And if that happens, you can be sure that I will not only be writing about it here – but also passing the information to the local media.

Here’s wishing the Singapore team in Jakarta all the best.

Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan

(note: picture of report on Rachel Yang taken from http://myepaper.mypaper.sg and full article can also be read here)

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Posted by Uncle Sha.
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