Hup Wei targets five years to return Malaysia as Sea Games high jump powerhouse

KUALA LUMPUR: National high jump coach Lee Hup Wei needs five years to put Malaysia back as a powerhouse in the men's high jump event at the SEA Games.

The former national athlete said that he is actively unearthing new talent, including working with the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), to raise Malaysia's reputation in the event in future tournaments.

"We need time; it's hard to predict but we hope to be able to do it within five years. I will also try my best (to produce quality athletes) since Malaysia will host the 2027 SEA Games.

"Apart from training 10 athletes from BJSS, I will also do scouting at the 2024 Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Sarawak, this August, as well as the MSSM (Malaysian School Sports Council) tournament," he said, when met recently.

The former SEA Games champion, who bagged gold in Korat 2007; Vientiane 2009, Jakarta-Palembang 2011 and Manila 2019, also hopes to produce competent athletes from Sukma 2024 in Sarawak, this August, to be absorbed into the 2025 SEA Games squad in Thailand.

Malaysia's dominance in the men's high jump event at the SEA Games, since 2005, ended when Nauraj Singh Randhawa, the three-time champion in Naypyidaw 2013 (Myanmar), Singapore 2015 and KL 2017, only won a silver medal at the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi.

Malaysia bagged gold in the men's high jump event in every edition of the SEA Games since 1977, except for the 2005 SEA Games in Manila. — BERNAMA

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