NAU­RAJ HAPPY TO HIT HIGH NOTES

Con­sis­tently jump­ing to top heights af­ter set­ting na­tional record of 2.30m at Sin­ga­pore Open last week

New Straits Times - - Sport - DEVIN­DER SINGH devin­der@nst.com.my

HIGH jumper Nau­raj Singh Rand­hawa is happy to main­tain his con­sis­tency af­ter be­ing de­nied a third in­ter­na­tional ti­tle this year on count­back at the Shizuoka In­ter­na­tional meet­ing on Wed­nes­day.

The 2016 Rio Olympian cleared 2.25 me­tres to fin­ish sec­ond to Ja­pan’s Takashi Eto, less than a week af­ter set­ting a new na­tional record of 2.30m at the Sin­ga­pore Open.

This is Nau­raj’s sec­ond run­nerup fin­ish af­ter plac­ing be­hind na­tional team­mate Lee Hup Wei at the Aus­tralian Athletics Cham­pi­onships in March.

But what pleased Nau­raj, who was joined in Shizuoka by his Aus­tralia-based coach Alex Ste­wart and train­ing part­ner Bran­don Starc, the most was the fact that he is con­sis­tently hit­ting top heights.

“In a way the com­pe­ti­tion was good,” Nau­raj, 25, told Time­s­port yes­ter­day.

“It al­lowed me to at­tempt 2.30m again just six days af­ter do­ing that in Sin­ga­pore.

“Alex also seemed happy. He said that the re­sults re­flect (my pro­gres­sion) to­wards my 2.30m jump.

“This is un­like how I jumped 2.25m in my first com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son when I fol­lowed that with a 2.14m a week later in March.

“Here the next height af­ter 2.25m was 2.30m so he’s happy that I man­aged a jump which equals my fourth high­est ever.”

Nau­raj’s achieve­ment in Sin­ga­pore en­sured he qual­i­fied for the Lon­don World Cham­pi­onships on Aug 3-14 on merit.

He is now ranked joint-sec­ond in the 2017 IAAF out­door lists, along­side some il­lus­tri­ous names in­clud­ing Rio Olympic gold medal­list Derek Drouin of Canada.

The ath­lete from Jo­hor will use the next two weeks to train un­der Ste­wart in Chiba along­side Starc, who cleared 2.20m for fourth place in Shizuoka, be­fore com­pet­ing again at the IAAF World Chal­lenge in Kawasaki.

“We are hav­ing a train­ing camp here in Ja­pan,” added Nau­raj.

“So we just ar­rived at our train­ing place in Chiba.

“For the next 16 days we will be stay­ing here and train­ing at the Jun­tendo Univer­sity track pre­par­ing for Kawasaki.”

Nau­raj’s prepa­ra­tion is also geared to­wards win­ning a third con­sec­u­tive Sea Games gold medal in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 19-30.

Other than Nau­raj, dis­cus thrower Ir­fan Shamshud­din has left for Europe which is also the des­ti­na­tion for hur­dler Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, who leaves this week­end.

Nau­raj Singh Rand­hawa

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