A jump from catwalk

DOHA: It is not unheard of for sports icons to cross over on to the catwalk to promote sponsors, projects and charities. Think Anna Kournikova or David Beckham. 

The path from catwalk to sports field is less well-worn, however, yet that is precisely the route taken by Singapore’s Michelle Sng. 

A former gymnast and ballet dancer, the model will be Singapore’s only athletics representative in the city-state’s 134-strong team for the Asian Games in Doha. 

The 19-year-old business management undergraduate will take on the region’s best in the high jump competition. 

A MODEL ATHLETE: Michelle Sng, a formermodel, hopes to make it into the top 12 andqualify for the high jump final in Doha.

Her progress in the sport has been rapid – it was only six years ago that she attempted the high jump for the first time at the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School sports day. She won that event and started out on the road that sees her make her debut in a major event at the Games. 

“I was the class sports captain,” said the 1.73m tall student, reflecting on her introduction to the sport. “Nobody wanted to jump, so I had to fill the spot. I had to read up on how to jump properly on the internet.” 

She no longer needs the internet for training purposes as she has her regimen down pat. Tough as it is, she prefers it to the training she needs to do for fashion shows. 

“For the Singapore Fashion Festival, I had to go through this one-day walking course,” she told the Straits Times.  

“You have to cross your legs on the catwalk, strike a pose at the end, look good, and not fall off your heels.” 

Despite her swift ascend in the sport, Sng is realistic about her chances of ending a 32-year athletics medals drought for Singapore. 

Her target is to make it into the top 12 and qualify for the final. “That will give me more opportunities to set a personal best and break the national record again,” she said. 

“I jump better when there is less pressure on me. Anything can happen in a competition.” – Reuters 

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