Singapore high jumper Kampton Kam plans to use Singapore Open to prepare for Hanoi SEA Games, while Andrew Pak is set to make debut at the Championships
Singapore high jumper Kampton Kam poses for the cameras. PHOTO: JOHN YEONG, SPORTPLUS.SG
Having recently equalled his U20 high jump record of 2.15m that was set on 29 March 2019 at the National School Games, Singapore high jumper Kampton Kam has his eyes set on breaking the record later this year.
Having last competed at the Singapore Open Track and Field Championships in 2018, the former Victoria Junior College athlete is looking to use the 82nd Singapore Open next weekend as a competition step-up ahead of the 31st SEA Games next month which he will be competing in.
"I want to get back in shape for the upcoming SEA Games, and to treat the Singapore Open seriously," said Kam, who is recovering from jumpers knee, an injury he sustained last year over the course of National Service.
Singapore high jumper Kampton Kam gets ready for training. PHOTO: JOHN YEONG, SPORTPLUS.SG
"I also hope it (Singapore Open) will raise the profile of athletics and track and field in Singapore, to hopefully attract regional athletes to compete and spar against us."
While Covid-19 has run rampant over the past 24 months, putting an abrupt halt to the majority of sporting events across the world, Kam did not rest on his laurels and continued his training during that time.
He was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to train in Sweden with Stefan Holm, a former Olympic gold medalist and one of two of his international high jump idols, the other being Mutaz Essa Barshim, a Qatari high jumper and current Olympic champion.
Singapore high jumper Kampton Kam warming-up ahead of training. PHOTO: JOHN YEONG, SPORTPLUS.SG
In fact, being able to compete with international athletes has been one of the major draws of the Singapore Open for Kam.
"My favourite memory of the Singapore Open was getting to compete with the international competitors, and I also got to swap jerseys with the current world indoor champion Woo Sang-hyeok of Korea," he said with a smile.
His junior Andrew Pak, 20 years-old, will be making his first appearance at this year's Singapore Open Track and Field championships, and is champing at the bit to gain useful competition experience.
"I am really excited to be having my Open debut this year. It's been 2 years since I last competed in a major competition (due to Covid), so I am really excited to be pushing new personal bests and competing in a week's time," said Pak.
Singapore high jumper Andrew Pak gets ready for his run-up. PHOTO: FELIX GALISTAN, SPORTPLUS.SG
Despite being relatively new to the scene, Pak is confident that he will be able to hold his own and is looking to use the event to grow much needed experience against high level competitors with athletes from Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines expected at the Home of Athletics from 16-17 April 2022.
Pak shared: "I will try my best and I really hope to get experience from this competition to prepare me for the future, and for possible major games."
Andrew Pak will be making his Singapore Open debut on 16-17 April 2022. PHOTO: FELIX GALISTAN, SPORTPLUS.SG
"I'm always looking for that elusive 2 metres which I have been targeting for a while now, and I really hope this will be the competition that I make it."
When asked which of the athletes from the fraternity he looks up to the most, Pak gave a cheeky smile and said: "Besides Kampton and my coach, I would probably look up to myself the most as I believe in focusing on my journey rather than focusing on others."
His confidence will do him a world of good heading into the 82nd Singapore Open Track and Field championships.
The 82nd Singapore Open Track and Field Championships will take place from 16-17 April 2022 at the Home of Athletics, Stadium Boulevard, Singapore 397804.
The competition will be streamed live on Singapore Athletics' Facebook page, while specators are also allowed inside the venue to support and cheer on the athletes.