Nauraj Singh Randhawa made amends for his poor, last-place finish in Canberra last week by leaping to 2.20m to win the bronze medal in the men’s high jump at the Sydney Track Classic.
A week earlier, the Johor athlete only managed a poor 2.05m to finish eighth and last in the Canberra Track Classic.
His effort on Sunday, however, was still way off his national record of 2.30m that he did in the Singapore Open in 2017.
Lee Hup Wei, who finished eighth in the world championships in Doha, Qatar, with an effort of 2.27m last September, could only manage 2.16m to finish in seventh place out of nine participants.
Australian Brandon Starc, who won the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold in Gold Coast, Australia, cleared 2.30m to win gold while South Korean Woo Sang-hyeok cleared 2.24m to bag silver.
The 32-year-old Hup Wei was clearly disappointed with his form.
“It definitely was not a good start for me in my first meeting this year. I came to Sydney with hopes of clearing more than 2.20m but I was not in my best form.
“I also did not have the rhythm and it could be because I did not have my coach Alexsandar (Gasparyan) with me, ” said Hup Wei, who has a personal best of 2.29m.
“The Uzbekistan coach was not granted a visa to travel to Australia.
Four-time SEA Games gold medallist Hup Wei, however, was happy that his buddy Nauraj had shown improvement in Sydney.
“As for me, I will continue to train under Gasparyan in Bukit Jalil for my next meet in the Queensland Track Classic in Brisbane on March 20.
“I hope my coach will get a visa to travel to Brisbane next month.
“My goal this year is to be ranked among the world’s top 32 to win a place in the Tokyo Olympics.
“But I need to do some decent jumps in competitions first, ” said Hup Wei, who featured in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.