GUNNING FOR QUANTUM LEAP
Nauraj looking forward to his second World Championships appearance
DEVINDER SINGH email@example.com
HIGH jumper Nauraj Singh Randhawa is looking to make a quantum leap after ending the first half of the season with a fourth-place at the IAAF World Challenge meet in Kawasaki, Japan yesterday.
World Championships-bound Nauraj cleared 2.25 metres to tie for fourth place with Japan’s Naoto Tobe but finished ahead of Australian training mate Brandon Starc on countback.
Canada’s Michael Mason won the event with a 2.30m clearance on countback from Japan’s Takashi Eto while Wang Yu of China was third on 2.28m.
Nauraj, 25, has had a productive three months since March during which he set a new national record of 2.30m at the Singapore Open to qualify for the Aug 3-14 World Championships in London.
He is now ranked joint-fourth in the 2017 IAAF outdoor lists alongside Mason and Wang Yu but ahead of some illustrious names including Rio Olympic gold medallist Derek Drouin of Canada.
“It went very well until 2.28m today,” Nauraj told Timesport. yesterday. “First attempts clearance all the way to 2.25m. I was in a good place mentally but it was just me not controlling my eagerness well enough today.
“It led to me doing things differently at 2.28m because of the eagerness. But 2.25m was a comfortable big clearance and my coach (Alex Stewart) said all I needed to do was repeat what I did in my previous jumps.”
Nauraj, who also won at the Canberra Grand Prix and finished second at the Australian Championships to teammate Lee Hup Wei earlier this year, can now look forward to preparing for his second World Championships appearance.
“I’m happy with my progress this half of the season and I look forward to the second half later on at the end of June in Europe,” said Nauraj, who returns to Kuala Lumpur today. “I have a window now to get some loading in training-wise before heading into more competitions.”
Following the World Championships, Nauraj will bid to win a third straight Sea Games gold medal in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 19-30.
Nauraj Singh Randhawa