Skipping to a world record

Kevin Kung

A student from Tai Po has roped in many fans with success at world championships

Kevin Kung |

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Timothy Ho has set his sights on breaking the world record of most skips by an individual in three minutes.
When Timothy Ho Chu-ting skips at speed, you have to close your eyes and listen to the beat of every skip to understand how fast he is going.

The reigning Asian champion and World Championships silver medallist is now gaining momentum to break the world record and win the gold medal at the Rope Skipping World Championships and World Youth Tournament in July.

When he was 15, the minimum required age for participants, Timothy stunned the city when he claimed six gold medals in team events, and won a historic silver and two bronze medals in men's singles events in his debut appearance at the World Championships in 2010.

This year, the 17-year-old Form Five student from Hong Kong & Kowloon Kaifong Women's Association Sun Fong Chung College has set his sights on breaking the world record for most skips by an individual in three minutes. He made a good start by winning the overall championship at the Sixth Asian Rope Skipping Championships in Mokpo City, South Korea, last July and became the Asian record holder of the most skips - 481 - in three minutes.

Timothy has been training hard for the July competition.

"At the beginning of 2012, my number of skips during practice reached 492, which is four skips more than the current world record," he says. "But recently I have been down to around 480. Still, I am confident that I can attain my best form when the championships get closer."

Despite his packed schedule preparing for the world championships, Timothy still joined his 13 teammates to break a Guinness World Record - the most skips by a team over a single rope in three minutes - at the Coca-Cola Foundation Record Breaking Festival 2012. It was held on May 1 at Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai.

"I like the feeling of breaking records," he says. "We started training for this after the Lunar New Year holiday and at first we could only do 360 skips, which is much fewer than the record of 461 set by Japanese skippers last year. It wasn't until the last two weeks that we could consistently exceed 461 skips. We gave our best-ever performance at the ceremony and set a new record of 501 skips."

As he lives in a ground-floor apartment in Tai Po, Timothy can skip without getting complaints from downstairs neighbours.

"I keep my rope on my desk," he says. "When I feel bored or come up against difficulties in my revision, I can always pick it up and skip for a few minutes. Then I get back to my studies with a refreshed mind. It really helps me study more efficiently."

When asked what life would be like without rope skipping, Timothy looks shocked. "That would be devastating," he says. "I still have many goals in the sport. I aim to break the world records - and when I become the record holder, I will then keep on breaking my own records. To me, skipping is all about continuous improvement. In both freestyle and speed skipping, I always try to find a more comfortable way to reach my goal so as to prevent injuries to my hands and legs. I always have new targets, and for me, rope skipping is never boring."

See Timothy skip on his Youtube channel