SEA Games push behind record rush?

Sng's joy at trend of women's jumps marks falling, cites home motivation

A MESSAGE informing her less than a week ago that 19-year-old Eugenia Tan had broken the women's long jump national record had high jumper Michelle Sng's heart swelling with pride.

"It was such a proud moment! That all four women's jumps records were broken this year says a lot," Sng, 27, said.

And indeed, Tan's smashing of a 22-year-old record last week - and by 6cm at that - completed the streak of recent breakthroughs in women's jumps.

It was Sng who led the way in March, breaking her own high jump national record of 1.80m set in 2006 by 4cm at the Philippine National Open-Invitational Athletics Championships.

A mere 10 days later, Rachel Yang, 33, rewrote her own pole vault record by clearing 3.83m at the Malaysia Open, bettering her 2011 mark of 3.82m.

Then came Lynette Lim, 18, who erased the triple jump national record with an 11.94m effort at the Schools National A Division competition in April. She had also owned the previous mark of 11.89m, set last year.

Sng, who was speaking on the sidelines of the Asics Suntec City store launch yesterday, hailed the resurgence in women's jumps, saying: "Records are meant to be broken. It's great for the sport if you see others coming close to it.

"It's also nice to see records being broken across the different age groups, by younger jumpers and veterans like Rachel and me. It shows that this progression isn't only limited to juniors or veterans."

When asked the reason for the jumpers' recent success, Sng replied: "I can't really say for the rest, but for me, the Games being held on home soil provided greater motivation (to excel)."

Sng was joined at the launch by fellow Games representatives Edmund Sim (20km race walk) and runner Jeevaneesh Soundararajah (5,000m). Long-distance runner Banjamin Quek was also present.

On top of its new location on the second floor, Asics also unveiled its Foot ID system, which gives customers a free and in-depth analysis of their foot shape and size, as well as information on how they run.

The tabulated results will be used to help customers decide on a shoe that meets their needs.

Said Asics Asia South-east Asia manager Kenji Oh: "We want to provide the best solution and the best support. We also hope to show customers this is not for profit, but to provide the best (shoe) suggestions."

The state-of-the-art machine, which also captures a customer's arch details, is only available at the Suntec City outlet and is estimated to cost US$30,000 (S$39,500).

liminc@sph.com.sg