Toughest Part Of Sport

High jumper Kampton Kam's growing challenge

Kampton Kam (in action, left, and at rest, below) is tired of looking up to his peers. While he is much taller than the average local man at 1.86m, he is 9cm below the average height of high jumpers at overseas international competitions.
Kampton Kam is tired of looking up to his peers. While he is much taller than the average local man at 1.86m, he is 9cm below the average height of high jumpers at overseas international competitions.ST PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM
Kampton Kam (in action, left, and at rest, below) is tired of looking up to his peers. While he is much taller than the average local man at 1.86m, he is 9cm below the average height of high jumpers at overseas international competitions.
Kampton Kam is tired of looking up to his peers. While he is much taller than the average local man at 1.86m, he is 9cm below the average height of high jumpers at overseas international competitions.ST PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM

In the second of a five-part series, Rohit Brijnath talks to 1.86m Kampton Kam, who feels he's not tall enough for the high jump.

Beneath a grey sky, on a red runway, comes a blur of yellow spikes. Kampton Kam is in the take-off business. His father, a Singapore Airlines pilot, requires roughly 2,000-3,000m of runway for his Boeing 777, but the son requires only three steps and eight strides to get airborne.

The high jump seems like a type of haiku, a compressed athletic poetry that lasts a few seconds, but in fact it's a technical exercise involving velocity, angle, curve, arch, centre of gravity. And Kam needs every skill he can muster to get over the bar because he feels he's not entirely physically suited to leap that bar.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2020, with the headline 'A growing challenge'. Print Edition | Subscribe