A pole vaulter and a long jumper delivered Singapore’s first medals at the Asian Youth Games today.
Haw Chong Institution student Sean Lim and Cedar Girls Secondary’s Melissa Wu both won bronzes in their respective events today on the first day of the athletics competition which was held at the Bishan Stadium.
Sean took the bronze with his 4.30m effort, which, incidentally, was way below his national junior record mark of 4.61m. The height equalled Taiwanese athlete Chi Chien Hao’s best effort but Chi claimed the silver in the end as he had taken only one attempt to clear 4.30m compared to Sean’s two.
Japan’s Sho Hibasa was the clear winner in the event with his 4.87m effort.
Meanwhile, Melissa finished third in the girls’ long jump with her effort of 4.94m.
The reigning National Schools B Division champion has a personal best of 4.99m. Thailand’s Pennapa Tantragool won the even with 5.58m while Qatar’s Reyma Alen Thomas was second with 5.06m.
It was also a good day for 400m runner Jared Lim.
The 16-year-old had been mired in a selection controversy prior to the AYG but he proved his critics wrong in the best way possible - by clocking a personal best of 50.39sec in his heat to qualify for the final.
Jared’s time – which was 0.72sec faster than his previous PB of 51.11sec – was the fourth fastest today and gives the Singapore Sports Schol student a fighting chance at winning a medal in Thursday’s final.
The fastest qualifier was Taiwan’s Fu Pei Yu (49.30sec) followed by Saudi Arabia’s Abkar Abdullah (49.83sec ) and Thailand’s Nitipol Thongpoon (50.12sec).
Jared’s schoolmate, sprinter Shahrir Anuar also booked his spot in the Boys’ 100m final when he won his heat in 11.07sec. He was the second qualifier behind Japan’s Masaki Nashimoto who clocked 10.89sec.
However, Shahrir’s personal best of 10.90sec, which was set at this year’s National Schools Championships, means that he has a great chance of winning the 100m final on Friday and delivering an athletics gold for Singapore.
But sprinter Liang Wei was a disappoitment in the Girls 100m. Touted by The Straits Times and TODAY as an athlete to watch at the AYG, the National Schools B Division champion didn’t even qualify for the 100m final today.
She clocked 12.90sec to finish out of the running for a top-eight place. Her time was also 0.40sec slower than her national U-15 record of 12.50sec.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan