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"Hongyu Xu, 6.21 meters!"
"Shiliang Lin, 5.95 meters!"
"Guolong He, 6.42 meters!"
"Chengyu Dai, 6.64 meters!"
"Yuchi Zhang, 6.81 meters!"
The long jumpers finished their first attempts one by one. Just as Dai Li had expected, their performances were not as good as Haiquan Fang's. The best performers only jumped a distance of about 6.7 meters. Some athletes fell directly into the sandpit due to their mistakes, while others were too eager to get a good score and unfortunately stepped on the takeoff line, thus receiving a zero.
"Huh, seems like the others are only average! I thought I would meet some strong competitors in the Provincial Youth Games!" said Haiquan Fang. He was no longer nervous. There was no need to be anxious when fighting against a group of weak people.
By the end of the first trial for Group A, only two people had jumped over 7 meters in their first attempt. One was Haiquan Fang, who had gotten 7.33 meters, while the other had gotten 7.04 meters. There was a big gap between the two.
Haiquan Fang was much more relaxed on his second attempt. He realized that he would surely make it to the final, so he calmed down and achieved a better performance than his first time.
"7.38 meters!" The surveyor reported Haiquan Fang's score. He had made some progress since the last time.
It was definitely no a coincidence if someone had two good performances in a row. Haiquan Fang had successfully gotten everyone's attention.
"That boy is good. His scores are all above 7.30 meters! I think he has the potential to win a medal."
"I heard that he is only 16-years-old. He has such great ability at such a young age. Who will be able to defeat him once he reaches 18?"
"He might already be on the national team!"
While the crowds were busy discussing, the surveyor reported another grade. "7.39 meters!"
"7.39 meters, it's Chenglong Hong from the Provincial Sports Team!"
Not far away, Dai Li also noticed the grade.
"So that guy is Chenglong Hong from the provincial team. Last year he only stayed with our team for a year before he got picked up by the provincial team. He failed the first time because he stepped on the takeoff line. But his second jump is amazing! Such a strong competitor," Dai Li thought secretly. But he did not worry at all. As long as Haiquan Fang can stay calm and perform normally, 7.39 meters was not a threat.
Soon, another long jumper named Haonan Su achieved a score of 7.09 meters. He was from a a district within the city.
For his last attempt, Dai Li set a simple goal for Haiquan Fang, which was to get more familiar with the environment.
However, Haiquan Fang did not agree with Dai Li. Because Chenglong Hong was 0.01 meter clear of him, Haiquan really wanted to exceed his score on his last attempt.
It was the third time he stepped up to the run-up zone. He felt much different than his previous approaches.
The first time he had stood here, he was quite nervous. His mind had wandered, and he could only rely on his instincts to jump. The second time he had stood here, he was more relaxed. His soul had come back to his body, but he was still not in his zone.
It was now his third attempt. Haiquan Fang suddenly realized that this was a formal contest, which was different from all his other experiences. He gradually got into the atmosphere and excitement.
"7.39 meters? I will do better than that!" Haiquan Fang took a deep breath. His mind automatically displayed the essentials that he needed to perform well.
The next second, he ran up, gradually gaining speed until right before he arrived at the takeoff board. By that time he had reached his top speed.
Haiquan Fang stepped on the board, and with a slam of his feet he jumped high into the air. His movement looked graceful.
"Nice jump!" Dai Li praised him silently. According to Haiquan Fang's movements, he could tell that it would be a respectable score.
"Hey!" Haiquan Fang caused a gust of wind. He fell into the sandpit steadily, then stood up.
"7.54 meters!" The surveyor shouted out the mark, trying to control his astonished look.
"What? Did he said 7.54 meters?"
"That must be true! See, the mark is over 7.50 meters!"
"How can he be that good? An athlete with such ability could represent the national team in the Asian Youth Games! Even an 18-year-old athlete is not capable of making it, let alone a 16-year-old boy! Considering what he has already done so far, he might jump over eight meters in the future!"
"8 meters is close to the standard for the Olympics! Perhaps we will have an Olympian in the long jump?"
"This boy is a genius. He might be selected to the national team within the two years."
The audience was all amazed by Haiquan Fang's performance. He was such a high-flyer. Few people got such good marks at his age.
Dai Li was delighted. He sensed that Haiquan Fang had overcome his stress and was getting into his zone.
As group A's contest came to an end, all the athletes left. Group B began to enter.
The rules stated that after the two groups completed the qualifying games, the top 12 would enter the final. Because of this, the latter group had more advantages. By the time group B had shown up to the arena, their coaches had already received group A's grade report. They were able to estimate what kind of performance their athletes had to have to get into the final.
Yuzhou City's long jumper was in Group B. The team's coach, Shouliang Zhao, was taking his athlete to the arena.
"Coach Zhao! How are you? I heard you were transferred to the Youth Team." Somebody was greeting him from afar.
"Coach Sun! It has been a while. How are you doing? I'm now in charge of the Yuzhou Youth Team's long jump." Coach Zhao welcomed him. The man was a long jump coach in a neighboring city. They had known each other for a long time.
After greeting one another, Shouliang Zhao asked, "How was group A?"
"Three of them jumped over 7 meters. The best one jumped 7.54 meters! There are two other athletes who jumped more than 6.9 meters. S\It seems like at least five of them will be in the final."
"7.54 meters? This should be the National Youth Team's competitor! Who is it?" Shouliang Zhao asked surprisingly.
"He is from the Provincial Youth Team. I heard that he is only sixteen! I say this year's championship will belong to that little boy!" said Coach Sun.
"Sixteen? He is a high-flyer!" Shouliang Zhao said. But his eyes showed hostility and fear.
"I brought my trump card here aiming for the championship. How is there already a 7.54 meter performance? This boy should not be underestimated!" Thinking about this, Shouliang Zhao looked around and asked, "Which one is the best?"
"Over there. That boy in the white track jacket and blue pants." Coach Sun pointed at Haiquan Fang, who was walking with the other Group A participants.
Shouliang Zhao looked in his direction and found Haiquan Fang. However, he also saw a familiar figure besides Haiquan Fang. It was Dai Li.
"Dai Li! Why is he here!" Shouliang Zhao was showing hostility again. "What a small world!"
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