PETALING JAYA: National high jumper Nauraj Singh (pic) had looked lost and forlorn for five months.
The 28-year-old athlete could not pursue the love of his life – leaping over the high jump bar and landing with a thud on the mattress – because of Covid-19 enforced movement control order (MCO).
Since training has been allowed by the government from July 13, Nauraj is like a man reunited with his lover, and loving every minute of it.
He can be seen walking with a spring in his steps during training at the National Sports Council complex.
The Johor lad now has time on his side as he prepares to earn a ticket to the 2021 Tokyo Olympics with qualifying competitions expected to resume from Dec 1 to June 29.
Nauraj, who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic said he’s looking at things positively. In fact, he said the MCO had given him time to recover from fatigue.
“It’s like connecting back to the sports... learning to love it again and not thinking of it as a job” said the Olympian, who won a gold medal at the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games.
“The MCO has wreak havoc on athlete’s form but I have taken a positive outlook on it. My body is in a good shape and and I think after a month of conditioning it will be better.”
“I have been having three training session per day but there’s no reason to rush into getting back my form... the plan is to build up the momentum and correcting mistakes before competing in the Olympics qualifiers.”
Nauraj said he had planned his training according to the World Athletics timeline so he could peak accordingly to meet the 2.33m qualifying mark. He achieved 2.21m to clinch the 2019 Philippines SEA Games silver medal, missing out on the gold to compatriot Lee Hup Wei on countback.
He, who received RM2,000 incentive from the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) for the silver, said he appreciated the reward.
“It’s nice to be recognised for your efforts by your association. They are playing their role as the parent body and I’m very grateful.”
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