There’s nothing like a cool world record to uplift the most sombre of moods. And teenager Soham Mukherjee, a Dubai resident from Delhi, did just that recently when he hopped his way into a Guinness World Records title recently with most side-to-side hops in 30 seconds.

Yes, you read that right. His 110 hops over a stationery ruler – with nine deemed invalid – were recorded with two phone cameras in his bedroom, and broke the previous title of 96. Soham, a grade 11 student at Gems Wellington International School, said the record was measured by a close-up, slow-motion video, “so that the line object and my feet were clearly seen”.

An avid sports buff, Soham has been involved in everything from football and badminton to table tennis and basketball over the years. But he doesn’t attribute his feat to any of those. Instead, he says what helped were 13 years of taekwondo, with its intense emphasis on leg work.

And Soham says while he’s always been more competitive than his peers due to an enthusiasm for several sports, it was moving to Dubai a year ago that got him really moving. During the lockdown, he decided to set about testing his determination, and his efforts to keep active led him towards an official attempt with Guinness World Records. “I would have never attempted a record if I didn’t move to Dubai,” he says.

Soham says moving to Dubai was one of the motivations in his world record pursuit

He isn’t ready to stop at just one record though. Soham, who will turn 17 in a few days, is now attempting another record in aerobics – and he’s pretty confident he’s going to break the previous title.

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