The first record of the 50th National Schools Track and Field Championships has finally been broken – after five long days of competition.
And the student who snared the honour yesterday (Thursday) of being the first athlete to write his name in the record books was 16-year-old pole vaulter Sean Lim.
The Hwa Chong Institution student broke the eight-year old Schools National and B Division Boys Pole Vault record of 4.35m (by Solomon Tan, also from Hwa Chong Institution, then known as the Chinese High) by a whisker – when he cleared 4.36m on his final attempt.
In doing so, he also broke another record – the national Under-17 mark.
According to the Singapore Athletic Association website, the current national U-17mark is 4.16m set by Sean himself at last year’s National Junior Championships in June.
However, Benjamin Ng had surpassed this with his 4.30m effort at the Singapore Open in August.
No matter – Sean broke both official and unofficial national U-17 records yesterday with his gold-medal winning feat.
He was also miles ahead of his competitors as nearest rival and schoolmate Arivan Shanmugaratnam took the silver after clearing 3.90m. Catholic High’s Lim Jun Yang was third with 3.70m
Sean’s winning height also means that the teenager is nearing the qualifying mark for this year’s IAAF World Youth Championships which will be held in Italy in July. The entry standard for the Championships is 4.50m.
He is also now just 0.30m away from the national open record of 4.66m set by Mok Hay Foo in 1993.
The Singapore Sports Fan extends his heartiest congratulations to Sean and his coach, David Yeo, and will keep his fingers crossed that the Hwa Chong student will realise his dream of qualifying for and flying the Singapore flag at the World Championships.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan