[10th June 2017] During the early hours of Friday morning, households around Dongguan may witness the faint glow of early morning television. Sets will be tuned to the I.A.A.F.’s World Championships at London’s Queen Elizabeth Stadium.
Spectators within the crown-shaped cauldron of an arena have witnessed Mo Farah’s glorious 10,000m run and boos aimed at 100m sprinter Justin Gatlin. In amongst the high-profile events, one local Dongguan man is aiming to embrace the spirit of the games. The crowd love an underdog and at 8.20pm [GMT+1] or 3.20am (China time).
Local to Dalang township, Ruiting Wu, was born on the 29th of November 1995. He joins many Chinese hopefuls, hoping to add to their solitary gold, bronze and pair of silver medals. Gong Lijiao’s [巩立姣] gold in Shot put, joins Lü Huihui’s [吕会会] bronze in javelin, with Lǐ Língwèi [李玲蔚] having secured silver in the same event. Wang Zheng [王峥] has also scored a silver medal in the hammer throw. In all, China has sent 50 athletes amongst the athletes and officials all hoping the norovirus outbreak stays away.
Ten years ago, Ruiting Wu began professional training at the Dongguan City Sports School, having been selected by a local coach. Standing 1.96m tall, he is head and shoulders above many Dongguan residents. In 2014, he was selected to represent the province of Guangdong. The following year he won the national indoor track and field championships with a jump of 16.46 metres. Ruiting Wu’s personal best [17.18m] came in the I.A.A.F. World Challenge/Golden Grand Prix, held at Japan’s Kawasaki Stadium. Not bad considering he hit 16.60m in the Stade Delort’s DecaNation in September 2016.
30 men from 20 nations have been whittled down to 12. Only the top three can take gold, silver and bronze on the podium. To qualify, entrants had to surpass the 16.80m entry standard. Only three of the final 12 managed to do this. Nine entrants qualify as “best non-automatic qualifiers.” Of which U.S.A.’s Chris Benard recorded 17.20m. Ruiting Wu managed 16.66m, perhaps the three lucky numbers are an omen. The men’s world record of 18.29m, set in 1995, by Jonathan Edwards of Great Britain may not look to be in threat.
Having logged a 17.18m jump in May this year, he will be hoping to further that distance. Can our local sportsman be stood amongst the glory? Let’s hope his hop, skip and jump are spot on! Jiāyóu!
Personal best (outdoor):
|Triple Jump||17.18m||+1.7m/s||Kawasaki (Todoroki Stadium)||21st May 2017|