Victoria Junior College student Koh Thong En speared his way to a new national junior mark as he finished fifth in the men’s javelin at the 70th Singapore Open Track and Field Championships last Sunday.
The 17-year-old first-year student threw 54.14m at the Bukit Gombak Stadum to eclipse the national junior record mark of 53.70m set by Akid Chong during the 34th Singapore Junior Athletics Championships in late June.
The event was won by Sri Lanka’s K. H. K Gunathilaka who threw 74.85m. China’s Qin Qiang took the silver with 71.12m while Japan’s Yamamoto Kazuki was third wth 68.01m.
Thong En had already shown signs during the recent 49th National Schools Track and Field Championships that he was capable of hurling beyond the 53m mark when he won the Boys A Division event with a distance of 54.78m.
However, that was achieved with a 700g javelin, the stipulated weight for the A Division Boys competition whereas 800g javelins – the adult standard – were used at the Singapore Open.
If Thong En’s record is ratified by the Singapore Athletics Association, it would be the 18th national open and junior mark to be broken this year (see here and here for a list of the other records that have been broken to date)
Despite seeing his name wiped off the national record books, Nanyang Polytechnic student Akid Chong still had some reason to smile at the Singapore Open. His best effort of 53.90m, which helped him to finish sixth eventually, is a new personal best and also bettered the existing national junior mark.
The fact that only 0.24m is separating the two young athletes means that Singapore track and field fans could be in for a huge treat the next few times Thong En and Akid come into battle again.
The Singapore Sports Fan extends his heartiest congratulations to Thong En and hopes that he and Akid will continue to set new standards for Singapore athletics.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan