Youngest competitor at 12, he defies pain and injury for extreme passion

Youngest competitor at 12, he defies pain and injury for extreme passion

He is only 12, but already he has a scar on his chin and has injured his back and knees.

All because Izzadnaff Abdul Manaf fell in love with dirt jumping, an extreme sport where bikers "jump over" wide gaps, hanging in the air for as long as possible before they land.

Last Sunday, Izzadnaff, who just finished his PSLE examinations, took part in the Yew Tee Street JAM 2013 at Yew Tee Hardcourt.

In a field of more than 30 contestants, Izzadnaff, the youngest competitor there, came in 12th.

But this was not his first competition.

The young extreme sports enthusiast has taken part in over 10 competitions, such as Mettle Games 2011 Urban Downhill at the Singapore Flyer.

Four years ago, when he was just eight, Izzadnaff's father showed him several YouTube videos of dirt jumping.

The boy immediately fell in love with the sport and told his father: "I want to be like them."

Recalled Izzadnaff: "He said to me, 'If you want to be like them, you have to start training'."

Izzadnaff did so by cycling with his father and later with a group of experienced cyclists who are his father's friends. He now clocks in 45km a day at least once every two weeks.

He is trained by his father and his friends and goes to Malaysia once a month to take part in races.

His father, Mr Abdul Manaf, 49, has spent big bucks on his BMX bikes.

He said with a chuckle: "I've spent thousands of dollars on his bikes. I don't remember how much I've spent exactly."

He added that he saw potential in his son when the boy was just three.

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