Video courtesy of Jin Xing and Lim Yao Peng.
Michelle Sng has a huge reason to celebrate: She re-wrote her women high jump National record last weekend, raising the bar 4 centimeters to 1.84 metres.
The 28-year-old who once had a promising athletics career, hung up her spikes in 2010, after being plagued by a chronic shin injury for which she picked up in 2008.
But Michelle made a return in 2014, and showed that injuries won’t get her down.
Her comeback is nothing short of amazing, as last year she topped the local women high jump ranking out of nowhere with a 1.78 metres effort and started off the 2015 season early with a sublime 1.84 metres jump recently at the Philippine National Open Athletics Championships 2015.
Going into the competition Michelle was optimistic of her chances. She commented, “I was aiming to do a personal best. I’ve been trying to break the national record this year but did not manage to succeed at Series and Swift Meet. During my trainings, I have been clearing 1.75m so I was in good form to do a personal best at competitions.”
The invitational event held at San Luis Sports Complex, Sta. Cruz, Laguna, Philippines saw Michelle started her high jump height at 1.65 metres.
The 1.72 metres tall athlete raised the bar next to 1.70 and then 1.75 metres for which she cleared on her first attempt.
By then there were only 2 competitors left in the event. The bar was then raised to 1.78 metres. Both Michelle and Narcisa Atienza of the Philippines faltered at their first jump attempt.
On the second try, 2013 SEA Games heptathlon silver medallist Narcisa failed to clear the height but Michelle was successful to her delight.
She then requested the bar height to be raised to 1.81 metres. That was 1 centimeters higher than her the then women high jump national record of 1.80 metres established in 2006 at Macau.
Surged with adrenaline, Michelle pushed forward and upwards, hurtling above and beyond 1.81 metres on her very first attempt.
The SMU graduate overcame with emotions afterwards, for she had fought hard battles to finally break her long standing record.
Sng then composed herself for the next height, 1.84 metres.
Unfortunately she hit the bar and faltered on her first try. On her second attempt, Sng cleared the height and Singapore women National record for women open category now stands at 1.84 metres. Record pending ratification by SA.
Michelle who once pushed a body that couldn’t quite keep up with her passion, the injuries which have been so prevalent and once plagued her, turned her biggest weakness into her strength.
She reflected back, “My focus was not to change anything about my jumps even as the bar was raised. I’ve always tried to push more, especially when it came to higher heights, but it doesn’t work that way. My coach always tells me to keep everything (about my technique) the same when the height of the bar increases. I was very emotional after first clearing 1.81m and then 1.84m. It has been an arduous journey and I was elated that I had finally broken the national record after 9 years.
Congratulations Michelle. We wish and pray that you’ll soar to greater heights.