Tina Ngu Jia Xin sets the bar high, hopeful of podium finish in Hanoi

Tina Ngu Jia Xin fell in love with high jump when she was just 11 – and she had a really good reason for it.

“It was the least tiring routine among all the other athletic events!” said Ngu, in jest.

Little did she know that her first experience in high jump at SJKC Tit Bin in Pantai Remis, Perak, would enable her to find a spot in the Bukit Jalil Sports School and eventually represent the country in the event.

Ngu, who turns 22 on Sept 22, is all set for her first SEA Games in Hanoi, that will officially begin next week (May 12).

“I have my mother, Yeoh Guan Geak and (elder) sister Jia Hui (26) to thank. They have been fully supportive of me since I was young,” said Ngu.

“Family support plays an important role in the development of any child. I ventured into high jump. It’s not as glamorous as other events, but my family was always there for me. They encouraged me and ensured that I always gave my best.”

Ngu said that young girls need such support if they are to excel in sports.

“In fact, not just sports, but anything in life. Parents should remember to always support their children and never pressure them to do something that they have no interest in.”

She hoped more children would be given a chance to experience the other disciplines in athletics, including high jump, so that the nation would have more talents in these fields.

With a personal best of 1.79m set at the Perak Open in 2019, Ngu is hopeful of a podium finish in Hanoi.

“There are threats of course, from the other nations. I’m 1.73m tall, and the other athletes are also about the same height, so there’s not much of an advantage, so to speak.

“I’ve kept tabs on the performances of the other athletes in the region, especially those who competed in the Singapore Open, held recently. I believe I stand a chance, and my personal goal is to at least get a bronze medal,” she added.

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