Manhunt finalist falls on neck after backflip that went wrong

PHOTO: The New Paper

He was an active sports enthusiast who thoroughly enjoyed life, especially if he could push his own physical boundaries.

On Tuesday night, all that changed for Manhunt Singapore 2015 (Senior Category) finalist Kenneth Ting.

He had attempted a backflip during his lesson at local gymnastics school GymKraft and ended up falling on his neck.

Mr Ting, 34, a personal trainer and co-owner of an online health supplement business, was not able to lift his neck after the accident.

On Wednesday, he underwent 10 hours of surgery to insert metal plates in his neck so that he could regain use of it.

Though the surgery was successful, according to his wife, Mrs Sharlene Ting, he faces a long road to recovery.

She has declined to comment on her husband's accident.

So what happened to Mr Ting?

GymKraft owner Willie Goh, who has reviewed CCTV footage of the accident, said he was shocked by the stunt gone wrong.

He told The New Paper yesterday: "We all know Kenneth. In fact, we just had dinner together last week. He has shown that he is good at gymnastics.

"This is why he was put in the advanced class for adults.

"We had assessed him before and he is capable of landing on his feet after doing a flip.

"What happened on Tuesday night was a freak accident."

Mr Goh said that there are around 16 people in the gymnastics class for adults.

Advanced class

Around seven of them are in the advanced class with Mr Ting while the rest are in the basic class.

The advanced class coach, Derrick, had instructed his students on how to execute a back salto, a type of backflip where one lands on his feet.

"Kenneth was standing on a block that was 60cm high. He jumped but instead of leaning backwards, which is the correct way to execute a back salto, his body went forward in a body tuck and that's why he ended up falling on his neck."

Mr Ting sat up after his fall but not long after, had to lie down as his neck was in pain.

Realising the seriousness of his injury, the instructor called the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Mr Ting was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Mr Goh said this was the third time in its three years of operation where an ambulance was called for an accident that occurred at his school.

The previous accidents involved injuries such as a dislocated arm and an injured back.

Mr Goh said Mr Ting joined his gymnastics school in August and impressed with his level of proficiency in the sport.

Recently, after Mr Ting was assessed at the school, he was placed in the advanced class as he could execute many of the stunts accurately.

Mr Goh added that Mr Ting had signed an indemnity form before he started classes at GymKraft.

However, Mr Goh admitted that there could have been more safety measures in place during the gymnastics classes.

"When Kenneth fell, he landed on one crash mat.

"I believe in doing things right, so moving forward I will be looking into putting two or three crash mats instead of one.

"And if Kenneth wants it, I am also willing to refund him the money for the lessons that he had paid for in advance."


This article was first published on October 16, 2015.
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