CYBERJAYA, June 24 — National high jumper Lee Hup Wei fears that the long break, combined with the absence of an intensive training programme, will affect his performance and jeopardise his chances of competing in the Tokyo Olympics next year.
As it is, he claims, his overall performance level has dropped by almost 50 per cent after going almost four months without field training following the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) in March to curb the spread of Covid-19.
According to the 33-year-old, a combination of gym and field training was necessary to achieve optimum result while the rehabilitation centre also played a crucial role as it is able to help athletes maintain their fitness after high-intensity training sessions.
“I was worried when my training programme was disrupted and I couldn’t train on the field with my coach. To make things worse, there were no tournaments either. Yes, the ability to jump is still there but it isn’t enough to help me clear more than 2.20 metres. It would be better to be able to train in the gym and on the field.
“I must admit that my performance has dropped by about 50 per cent. It will be worse if I don’t return to training soon. Just building up on my stamina by running isn’t enough as I need specific training with regard to jumping techniques,” he told Bernama today.
Bernama yesterday reported that national athletic coaches were waiting for a decision by the National Sports Council (NSC) on when the athletes can resume training although Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) president Datuk S.M. Muthu recently claimed that training was expected to begin in July.
Local media had earlier reported that Hup Wei was disappointed when his name was left out from the list of athletes called up to attend the centralised training camp under the 2020 Road to Tokyo (RTT) programme.
However, Hup Wei, who has won four SEA Games gold medal as well as competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics, explained that he was actually confused about being left out of the training camp despite being in the best position to qualify for the Tokyo Games.
“I need at least six months and an intensive training programme to reach my optimum level before the Olympics,” said Hup Wei, who cleared 2.24m to become the 2007 Asian Championship winner. — Bernama