Singapore Sports School sprinter Shahrir Mohd Anuar was in scintillating form as he emerged the only record-breaker on the last day of the 50th Schools National Track and Field Championships.
The 16-year-old Secondary Four student – coached by Remy Gan – blazed the track as he clocked 10.90sec in the B Boys 100m final to shatter the 12-year meet record of 10.97sec which was set by Aaron Huang in 1997.
His record was only the fifth registered at this year’s Championships, a result, perhaps, of the decision to move the Championships from July to April because of the upcoming Asian Youth Games in June.
And yet, it could have been three meet records for the Sports School yesterday if not for a bungled exchange by the school in the B Boys 4x100m relay and for sprinter Liang Wei’s agonisingly close miss in the B Girls 100m
Tipped to win the 4x100m relay and possibly set a new record, the Sports School’s recording breaking dreams turned to dust after its first two runners fumbled their baton exchange.
That left the last two runners Jared Lim and Shahrir with just too much to do in too short a distance as Sengkang Secondary, powered by anchorman Aaron Foo, took the gold in 43.27sec, missing the meet record of 43.13sec by a whisker.
Liang Wei’s miss was even narrower.
The 16-year-old 200m champion left the rest of her field in the Girls 100m eating her dust but even as she tried her best, her time of 12.56sec was 0.02 seconds off the record of 12.54 seconds set by Nurulaini Ariffin in 1995.
But Liang Wei’s win was one of the several victories that enabled the Sports School to successfully defend the B Girls Divisional title that it has been winning since 2006.
St Nicholas Girls toppled reigning champions Cedar Girls to win the C Division title for the first time since 2004, while Hwa Chong Institution – unsurprisingly – won the Boys B and C Division titles again for the 26th time.
(Note: HCI was known as The Chinese High when it started winning the divisional titles in 1982. It changed its name to HCI in 2005).
Meanwhile, Raffles Institution JC won the A Boys and Girls divisional titles but did it in such contrasting fashion. The girls were runaway winners, with 197 points compared to nearest rivals CI which had 129.
Fiona Ng (golds in 200m, 400m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Joana Chng (golds in 100m, 4x100m, 4x400m) and Gail Chia (golds in long jump, triple jump and 4x100m) played sterling roles in helping their school to win the crown.
In contrast, the RIJC boys really had to scrap for theirs.
It was a point-for-point, tooth-and-nail battle between RIJC and Victoria JC, and in the end RIJC prevailed by just three points when it ended with 167 points compared to VJC’s 164.
Both schools won six golds but RIJC took the crown after winning more silvers and bronzes. It had 8 silvers and 6 bronzes compared to VJC’s 4 and 4.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan