SIBU: Triple jump ace Brendon Ting Li King is a lad in a hurry these days and can’t wait to get back to training.
The 18-year-old student of Miri’s Riam Road Secondary School is one of the medal prospects at Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Johor next year but he felt that he is embarking on a mission impossible to deliver a triple jump gold medal for Sarawak.
“Surely, this is a heavy burden to shoulder. I just have to be positive-minded, stay focused and I am determined to go for it,” he said.
The last state Sukma champion in the men’s triple jump was 20 years ago and Brendon was not even born when Lim Teck Leong climbed on top of the podium to receive his gold medal at the Penang Sukma.
Brendon made his Sukma debut in Perak 2018 and finished in 7th placing with a 14.3m jump.
He took part in the Asean Schools Games (ASG) in Indonesia last year, but his performance was hampered by waist injury. Despite the pain, he managed to finish fourth at a distance of 14.4m.
The 170cm tall athlete burst into prominence in 2019 following a power-packed intensive training under State Jumps coach Teck Leong.
At the 2019 Malaysian Schools Sports Championship (MSSM) in Johor, he registered a distance of 15.27m to eclipse the 20-year-old record of 15.16m established by Melaka’s Mohamad Malik Ahmad Tobias in 1999.
That rare taste of success has propelled the flamboyant jumper to greater heights.
At the Miri Division Secondary Schools Sports meet earlier this year, he improved to 15.29m and the victory subsequently put his name among the elite jumpers in the state.
Brendon skipped the Perak Open in March after sustaining a minor injury to his leg and was looking for another breakthrough in the MSSM in Negeri Sembilan in April before it was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The meet would have been a testing venue for me to gauge where I stand but it was called off.”
Brendon said his legs are itching for action and he hopes the health crisis will improve for the better soonest so that he could get back on the track and resume training.
With the postponement of the Johor Sukma to March next year, Brendon regarded it as a blessing as it has given him more time to prepare.
“An additional 10 months or so means a lot to an athlete. I am quite sure there will not be any competitions this year due to the Covid-19 but I will continue to do my workouts at my house and prepare for next year‘s Sukma.
“Nevertheless, I hope the National Sports Council (NSC) will allow the athletes to start training as we have not been jumping since the Movement Control Order (MCO) went into effect since March 18,” he said.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah recently said the government will not rush into opening the sports complexes even though Sabah had announced that all sports complexes and hostels throughout the state had began operation on May 18.
“It’s understandable the predicament we are in and we just need to wait a little longer for the health situation to improve for the better before we are allowed to train on the field,” Brendon said.
At the moment, Brendon is doing light exercises, strength pulling and weight training inside the compound of his house to keep himself fit and healthy for the challenges ahead.