SEA Games: Time for Jack to right the wrong in wushu
The Singapore SEA Games will be Jack Chang's fifth consecutive Games appearance.
SINGAPORE: Wushu exponent Loh Jack Chang is hell-bent on scaling the heights of his glory years again.
The 27-year-old taijiquan’s specialist, fondly known to his peers as Jack, is a two-time World Championships runner-up and a gold medallist at the 2009 Laos SEA Games.
But his fortunes have fallen in recent years.
His last notable achievement was winning a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships in Kuala Lumpur.
Since then, his performance has taken a nosedive – something you wouldn’t expect from an exponent of his calibre.
He finished eighth in the 2013 SEA Games in Naypytaw, Myanmar, and 10th in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, last year.
No wonder he’s eager to end his miserable run with a commendable showing at the Singapore SEA Games when the wushu competition, which offers 20 golds, gets under way on Friday.
Three of those golds will be up for grabs in the taiji disciplines – taijiquan compulsory, taijijian optional and taijiquan optional. Malaysia’s other exponent in the taijiquan discipline is Loh Choon How.
“It’s time for me to right the wrong. I’ve not been good enough in my previous performances,” admitted Jack, who is a MBA degree holder.
“It’s been frustrating because I know what I’m capable of. I’ll be competing in my fifth straight SEA Games and it’s likely to be the most important yet.
“Apart from getting back to winning ways, I’ll also be looking to reclaim the gold medal for the country. I won it in 2009 and my senior Lee Yang (who retired after the 2014 Asiad) won it two years later in Palembang.
“At the last Games in Myanmar, hopes were high on me but I failed miserably.
“Myanmar Games gold medallist Daniel Parantac (of the Philippines) and Nguyen Thanh Tung (of Vietnam), whom I defeated in Laos, will be among the usual suspects again.
“But this time around, there are three gold medals up for grabs rather than the usual all-round event ... so, the chances of winning gold are higher.”
Parantac and Than Tung also won silver and bronze medals at the Incheon Asia.