KUALA LUMPUR: High jumper Lee Hup Wei (pic) hopes a change of coach will bring better luck to him in competitions.
The Selangor athlete, who trained under Cuban coach Jose Luis Alforo for the last four years, failed to break his own national record of 2.27m, which he did in the China Open to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
His best achievement under Alforo was equalling his personal best to win the gold medal in the Asian Grand Prix in Chennai in 2010.
Since then, Hup Wei has failed to get anywhere close to his national record.
The Cuban coach’s contract was not extended this year after failing to help Hup Wei surpass his national record.
Hup Wei, who won the gold medal in the Asian Track and Field (ATF) championships in Amman, Jordan, in 2007, has started training under German physiotherapist and coach Jorg Teichmann since January.
Hup Wei was training under the German coach for more than a year in 2006 before he was replaced by the Cuban.
The 26-year-old Hup Wei said that Alforo was a good coach but communicating with him in English was a problem.
“Alforo could not speak English well. And he also says that I failed to improve my personal best because I’m mentally not strong.
“He says I had a mental block. But he failed to help me overcome my problem in competitions,” said Hup Wei.
“I hope Teichmann will be able to help me improve my mental strength and also break my national record.
“I had trained under the German coach before and I have faith in him to help me become a good high jumper in Asia,” added Hup Wei, who will be competing in his first meet of the year – the Malaysian Grand Prix – on April 20 at the National Sports Council (NSC) Training Track in Bukit Jalil.
This is the first time the Malaysian Athletic Federation (MAF) will hold the one-day Malaysian GP for selected events.
Hup Wei said he is confident of clearing 2.12m in the meet next week to qualify for the Myanmar SEA Games in December.
Hup Wei, who has won gold medals in the last three SEA Games since 2007 in Korat, will also feature in the three Asian Grands Prix scheduled in Bangkok on May 4, Chonburi (May 8) and Colombo, Sri Lanka (May 12).
He also hopes to surpass 2.15m in competitions to earn a place in the 20th edition of the ATF meet in Chennai from July 3-7.