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Bad days are over for Tokyo-bound Hup Wei

New Straits Times logo New Straits Times 21/7/2021 K. Rajan
a person jumping up in the air © Provided by New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR: High jumper Lee Hup Wei's luck is finally turning for the better in his long arduous journey to the Tokyo Olympics.

The Kajang athlete has cleared his

last obstacle, recovering from an injured ankle in time to fly off to Tokyo on Saturday,

Last month, Hup Wei nearly paid the price for winning gold at the Qosanov Memorial in Kazakhstan, as in clearing 2.10m, he injured his ankle.

The 34-year-old has been doing 2.22m in training, and this looks promising in his bid to qualify for the Olympic final in Tokyo.

To reach the final, Hup Wei has to scale at least 2.26m but it is not beyond his reach as he has a personal best of 2.29m, achieved at the World Championships in 2019 in Doha.

"It has been a tough two years for me. After the Covid-19 pandemic struck, many competitions were cancelled. Then I had misfortune with injuries, and it took time to recover."

And things are finally falling into place for Hup Wei as he will have his Uzbek coach, Alexander Gasparyan, with him for the Olympics. Earlier, the Malaysian Athletics Federation were criticised for wanting to send only team manager S. Govindarajoo to Tokyo, while leaving out Gasparyan.

Hup Wei, the 2007 Asian champion, qualified for the Tokyo Olympics after finishing 23rd in the world rankings.

At the 2008 Beijing Games, Hup Wei finished 32nd after clearing 2.20m. Four years later in London, he was placed 27th with a jump of 2.16m.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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