Tia Rozario soars with another two indoor jump records, Latest Athletics News - The New Paper

Tia Rozario soars with another two indoor jump records

For a fifth year running, Singaporean jumper Tia Rozario has missed reunion dinner with her family as she pursues sport and studies in the United States. But in this Year of the Dragon, she has been rewarded for her leap of faith and sacrifice with two national records in the women’s indoor triple and long jumps.

At the Feb 22-24 Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Championships in Boston, she finished fifth in the triple jump, clearing 12.81m, and 11th in the long jump with a 5.82m leap to conclude the indoor season on a high.

These distances are improvements on the 12.79m and 5.80m marks she set at the Virginia Tech Doc Hale Meet on Feb 3.

The 23-year-old told The Straits Times: “I’m very happy with the results and with closing off the season with a lot of consistency over the past two months. This has been my best indoor season and it is a good set-up for the outdoor track which is my focus as we work towards the 2025 SEA Games and 2026 Asian Games qualification.

“I would attribute the records to a very good and consistent training environment that has a very fun setting with all the jumpers being here for one another during difficult periods.

“The outdoor season starts in March and my first meet will be in Miami. There’s no wind for the indoor events, while the outdoor tailwind will help me jump further and I hope I can use that to my advantage.”

Rozario is currently competing for Duke University, where she is pursuing a master’s in biomedical science after she had completed her four-year degree in neuroscience at Princeton University.

While she misses reunion dinners and Chinese New Year festivities, she is glad to have her coach and teammates as her second family away from home. Her coach Tatijana Jacobson bought her a nian gao (new year rice cake) decorated with a lion dance head as they were preparing for a meet over the Chinese New Year weekend.

Rozario, whose father is Eurasian of Portuguese descent while her mum is Chinese, said: “My grandmother would prepare hotpot and my cousins would gather at my place to have steamboat. For the past five years, I wasn’t able to be part of that as the Chinese New Year period is also school term in the States.

“It is definitely a sacrifice but I’m very lucky my family is very supportive of what I do, and we still celebrate through Zoom and Facetime calls.”

However, she turned coy, laughing and declining comment when asked if she had anyone to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Yuan Xiao Jie with. The latter is the last day of the 15-day celebrations and also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day.

She was more chatty about her new love for triple jump, despite her still being some distance away from the SEA Games qualifying mark of 13.45m. The long jump qualifying distance is 6.02m.

Rozario, who set the outdoor triple jump national record of 12.92m in 2023, said: “Triple jump is my main event now. I started proper training in triple jump only from 2019 and I’m still learning. I have a lot of confidence in my progression but there’s still a lot of room for improvement, which is exciting as I’m still nowhere near my full potential.”

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