Balpreet rewrites junior 100m mark (The StraitsTimes, 5 July 2008 )
By Valerie Chia
WHEN Balpreet Kaur found out that she had rewritten the girls’ national junor 10m record yesterday, she started screaming.
“I was so happy as I didn’t know I’d broken the record until my coach told me over the phone,” she said. “I’d been working towards it since last year but I totally didn’t expect to break it as I hadn’t been doing well all day.”
The 18-yar-old clocked 12.23sec at the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Unio Pre-Olympics Athletics Championships in Kuala Lumpur to erase Amanda Cho’s previous mark of 12.26sec.
She came in third, behind Choo who clocked 12.18sec. Malaysia’s Siti Fatimah took the gold with 11.80sec.
Balpree then teamed up with Choo, Wong Ze Teng and Ann Siao Mei, all 21, for the 4x100m gold.
Her habit of putting too much pressure on herelf durin competition had preventd herfrom lowering her previous personal best of 12.30sec until yesterday.
She said: “I went into the race feeling relaxed and I suppose that was the key.”
Despite her feat, Balpreet is not eyeing Choo’s national 100m record of12.12sec just yet. “I’m just going to challenge myself to better this timing first.”
Heartiest congratulations to Balpreet for her record-breaking feat. This means that to date, 17 national open and junior records have already been broken. (For a list of the other 16 marks, click here ).
But did you now have it could well have been 17 national marks ie two other national marks could have been broken in Kuala Lumpur. While it was reported in The Straits Times that Balpreet was later a part of the 4x100m team that won the gold, what wasn’t reported was the timing that was clocked.
Our girls came home in 46.81sec, just 0.11sec shy of the national mark set by Lee Yan Ling, Amanda, Siao Mei and Ze Teng at the 2007 SEA Games in Korat, Thailand. What a pity – but what a positive sight too.
It couldn’t have been easy for the girls to pull off a timinglike this since they were competing against only one other team – from Trengganu. So kudos to them for maintaining their standards despite the lack of competitive opposition.
But it shows that coach Loh Chan Pew’s army of sprinters are now breathing down the neck of the existing mark. In other words, we could well see the relay mark being broken sometime this year, if all things go according to plan.
Likewise, Amanda came close to breaking her national 100m mark of 12.12sec with her 12.18sec silver-medal timing (difference: 0.06sec).
My only wish now is that Balpreet shows a keener fighting spirit as a national sprinter.
The Straits Times article said two things to me: that a) she is prone to succumbing to mental pressure before her races and b) she is still hesitant about taking on Amanda and wresting the No 1 women’s sprinter mantle from her.
“I’m just going to challenge myself to better this timing frst,” she said in The Straits Times report.
My first reaction when I read that quote? “Alamak.”
It would have been more ‘fun’ and exciting for observers of local athletics if Balpreet had openly declared war on Amanda’s national record. This would mean four possible situations arising:
i. the beginnings of an intense battle between two women sprinters for the No 1 tag, something not seen since the mid-1990s when Hiranisha Rasimuddin and Nurulaini Ariffin slugged it out on the track,
ii. Balpreet keeping Amanada on her toes which is a motivational pressure which the latter could really use as she guns for both a new national 100m record and a sub-12 timing before the end of the year,
iii. Balpreet emerging as the new No1 woman sprinter in Singapore? (I’m all for that because the more top sprinters Singapore has, the better for Singapore athletics as a whole)
iv. the national 4x100m relay team benefitting from such a intense rivalry as it seeks to break the existing national mark once again.
Sometimes, one cannot help wishing that our local athlete had more fire in their bellies and more self-belief.
Well, here’s wishing that Balpreet will prove me wrong and that she really goes for the jugular from now on. After all, her timings are already proof of what she can do.
Finally, I’m ending this write-up with some results from the MAAU Pre-Olympics meet. I’ve bolded the results of our athletes, particularly those who were in action on Friday. I took this from Saturday’s edition of The Star. Today’s edition of The Star didn’t list down Saturday’s results though.
100m: 1. Zabidi Ghazali (Ter) 10.65, 2. Poh Seng Song (Sin) 10.70, 3. Mohd Amiruddin Jamal (Sin) 10.76.
400m hurdles: 1. Mohd Zafril Mohd Zuslaini (Pah) 53.34, 2. Firdaus Mustafa (Maau) 55.01, 3. Mohd Affizuddin Ismail (Kel) 56.90.
800m: 1. Chen Fu Pin (Tpe) 1:53.45, 2. Liao Ping Wei (Tpe) 1:53.83, 3. Mohd Jeroni Defuan (Swk) 1:54.21.
10,000m: 1. Ndabili Bashngili (Bot) 30:58.42, 2. HO Chin Ping (Tpe) 31:28.69, 3. Wang Chin Chun (Tpe) 32:25.93.
4x100m: 1. Terengganu 41.31, 2. Sabah 42.23, 3. Kuala Lumpur 43.12.
Discus: 1. Wansawang Sawasdee (Tha) 51.71m, 2. Kvanchai Numsomboon (Tha) 46.50m, 3. Adi Alifuddin Hussin (Ter) 40.24m.
Hammer: 1. Azman Mohamed (Sel) 46.32m, 2. Abdul Halim Yatim (Sel) 43.65m, 3. Jackey Wong (Swk) 39.37m.
Javelin: 1. Peter Agan (Swk) 64.27m, Jasmon Justin (Sel) 55.94m, 3. Linus Nicholas (Sab) 55.30m.
Long jump: 1. Keeratikorn Janmanee (Tha) 7.70m, 2. Henry Dagmil (Phi) 7.55m, 3. Tsai Ah Tq (Tpe) 7.42m.
Pole vault: 1. Sompong Saom ban Kuay (Tha) 4.70m, 2. Mohd Sahadan (Pah) 4.60m, 3. Rafiuddin Che Omar (Joh) 4.50m.
100m: 1. Siti Fatimah Mohamed (Joh) 11.80, 2. Amanda Choo (Sin) 12.18, 3. Balpreet Kaur (Sin) 12.23.
400m hurdles: 1. Khoo Woan Chee (Joh) 62.03, 2. Dipna Prasad (Sin) 65.16, 3. Asmah Hanim (Sin) 66.03.
800m: 1. K. Ganthimathi (Pah) 2:18.69, 2. Nor Syahira Abu Bakar (Nse) 2:23.11, 3. Nik Zulailee (Maau) 2:28.14.
5,000m: 1. A. Amutha (Kul) 19:37.85, 2. Khadijah Dahlan (MAAU) 20:41.07, 3. Alaku Sundry (Nse) 20:59.23.
4x100m: 1. Singapore 46.81, 2. Terengganu 51.17.
Discus: 1. Yap Jeng Tzan (Nse) 43.45m, 2. Siti Shahidah Abdullah (Pah) 38.96m, 3. Asrenny Asik (Sab) 36.14m.
High jump: 1. Wong Boon Syian (Joh) 1.70m. 2. Wan Sitika Wan Shukri (Kel) 1.55m.
Shot putt: 1. Siti Nurul Ain (Nse) 12.32m, 2. Asrenny Asik (Sab) 12.30m, 3. Nor Syaidah (Sel) 11.84m.
Triple jump: 1. Ng Gha Yee (Nse) 11.77m, 2. Nurul Fatimatul Zaharah (Ter) 11.47m, 3. Ho Yen Kwan (Sel) 11.26m
Yours in Sport
Singapore Sports Fan