Hup Wei: I can make final
A CONFIDENT Lee Hup Wei believes reaching the high jump final at the Beijing Olympics is not beyond the stretch of his imagination.
Having set a new national record of 2.27m en route to qualifying for the Olympics at the China Open in May, Hup Wei only narrowly missed raising the bar further when he failed at 2.29m at the same meet.
The Selangor-born athlete said the miss was only marginal and if he does clear that height, he could be lining up at the final on Aug 19.
“If my performance is good on the day, I think I can do it. Realistically, I will have to clear 2.31m to be sure of a place in the final,” said Hup Wei when met in Bukit Jalil recently.
Hup Wei, 21, returned from a one-week competition stint in Finland last month where he cleared 2.21m in his second outing at the Savo Games to win his first European competition.
If his recent performances are not enough of a confidence booster, Hup Wei will have sweet memories of the National “Bird’s Nest” Stadium in Beijing, the Olympic athletics venue where he earned his Olympic ticket.
“It was where I broke the national record and I think I will be comfortable jumping there. I have already experienced the atmosphere in the stadium, although it was only half full at the time, but I don’t think a full stadium will have any effect on me,” said a nerveless Hup Wei.
His coach Lau Cwee Peng believes Hup Wei is as ready as he can be and only needs to keep his mind on the task ahead.
“He will continue training as usual and compete in the Singapore Open. The is no pressure on him to get a result there (in Singapore) as it is just a warm up meet for him,” said former Sea Games winner Cwee Peng.