Monthly Archives: May 2009

Newsflash: Sean Lim vaults his way to new national junior record

Talented young pole vaulter Sean Lim broke his third national record of the year today when he set a new national junior record during the Boys’ U-17 Pole Vault event at the 35th Singapore Junior Athletics Championships.

The 16-year-old Hwa Chong Institution student, who has already broken the National U-17  record twice this year – in April (when he cleared 4.36m at the 50th Schools National Track and Field Championships) and in May (when he soared 4.50m during the Singapore Athletic Association’s Pole Vault Series 3) – added another 11cm to his personal best with his 4.61m winning effort today.

It broke the National Junior record of 4.60m set by Solomon Tan in 2003.

After accomplishing his record-breaking feat in his first vault, Sean then set the bar at 4.67m in a valiant attempt to break the National Open record of 4.66m (by Mok Hay Foo, 1993). However, he did not manage to do so with his second vault.

Sean then raised the bar to 4.70m for his last two vaults but also did not manage to clear the bar. He will be gunning for the national record this weekend at the Swift Open.

Meanwhile, Nanyang Polytechnic student Akid Chong bettered the men’s National Open record of 59.22m (Ng Bock Huat, 1988) when he won the Boys U-20 Javelin event (800g) with his best effort of 60.47m.

However, I am given to understand that the 18-year-old’s effort will not be recognised as a national record as he is a Singapore permanent resident. Only Singapore citizens can be named as national record holders. 

It will, however, be a new meet record (old meet record: 53.62m by Huang Huaren in 1992). (Note from SSF: I do not know why Akid’s winning throw of 53.70m at last year’s SJAC was subsequently not listed as the meet record for this year’s competition even though it had surpassed Huang Huaren’s meet record of 53.62m)

Said Akid in an interview with yours truly:  “I have considered applying for citizenship before but I am not able to because both my parents are Malaysian. I’ll have to wait until I am 21. 

“Still, getting my distance recognised as the meet record is good enough. I hope to continue to help raise the standard of javelin throwing in Singapore.”

Akid’s perennial arch-rival Koh Thong En took the silver with his 55.19m effort.

However, as the Victoria Junior College student’s distance is further than Huang Huaren’s national junior mark of 53.62m, Thong En will be recognised as the new national junior record holder.

Four other new meet records were established today, three by jumpers from national jumps coach Valeri Obidko’s stable.

Stefan Tseng broke the Boys U-20 triple jump meet record of 14.21m (set by Tan Lee Ken in 1977) when he cleared 15.80m. However, he failed to secure his ticket to this year’s SEA Games in Laos. The national record holder (16.04m) needed to clear 16.o7m in order to qualify for Laos.

Likewise, Mariam Shazana set a new Girls U-20 triple jump meet record with her winning distance of 11.50m (old record: 11.19m by Pan Peiting) but failed to qualify for the IAAF World Youth Championships.

The 17-year-old, who holds the national record of 11.70m, needs to clear 12m in order to qualify for the Championships which will be held in Italy in July.

She has one more opportunity to do so – at next week’s SEA Junior Championships.    

Finally, Singapore Sports School student Nurshaishireen Mohd Rahim set a new meet record in the Girls U-17 triple jump when she cleared 11.05m. Her effort was a centimetre further than Gail Chia’s meet record of 11.04m set in 2006.

Javelin thrower Tan Zhi Hao of Hwa Chong Institution won the Boys U-17 event with his 53.18m effort and bettered the previous meet record of 51.48m. 

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

Related links:

6 May 2009 – Newsflash: Pole vaulter Sean Lim breaks national U-17 mark again  

2 July 2008 – The SSF Interview: Akid looking to spear national mark next

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Newsflash: Hwa Chong’s Wong Kai Yuan breaks National U-17 shot put record

Hwa Chong Institution student Wong Kai Yuan emerged a surprise winner and record breaker in the Boys U-17 Shot Put (5kg) final of the Singapore Junior Athletics Championships at the Bukit Gombak Stadium today.

He hurled 15.06m to break two records – the meet record of 14.73m and the National Under-17 record of the same distance, both of which were set by Scott Wong in 2006.

The result was a pleasant surprise for Kai Yuan as he had finished third in the B Division shot put final at last month’s Nati0nal Schools Track and Field Championships. However, his distance of 14.73m had, by then, already equalled Scott’s National U-17 record.

Another meet record went a-tumbling today, and once again, it occured in a field event.

Jumper Nurul Jannah, a member of Russian coach Valeri Obidko’s stable of promising young jump talents, broke the Girls U-20 meet record of 5.43m with her best effort of 5.58m.

Nurul started tentatively with a 5.29m opening effort but bettered it with her second jump of 5.34m. After an overstep in her third attempt, she finally broke the meet record with her fourth jump. She then showed consistency in her last two jumps, recording 5.52m and 5.48m.

It must be noted, however, that Nurul’s bestb distance today is still 10cm off her national junior record of 5.68m which she set in 2007.

She will need to clear 5.85m if she hopes to qualify for this July’s IAAF World Youth Championships in Italy.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Newsflash: Singapore is relegated from Asian Five Nations

Singapore crashed to its third defeat in the Asian Five Nations today, a 6-64 whalloping by Hong Kong which has effectively relegated the Republic from the top tier of Asian rugby.

Singapore desperately needed to beat Hong Kong after its 0-65 and 19-22 losses to South Korea and Kazakhstan respectively but the chances of an away victory today against a side that has consistently beaten it by 20-30 points were always going to be slim.

But today’s nne-try loss was one of the Republic’s worst results against the Special Administrative Region since its record 3-164 loss to Hong Kong at the 1994 Asian Championships. It also underlined the fact that Singapore is truly out of its depth at this level of Asian rugby, even with a massive infusion of expatriate playing talent.

The hard truth: the Division One championship is where it truly belongs.

One now wonders whether the Republic could be on the receiving end of another world-record defeat when they take on Japan in their final game on Sunday.

The Japanese retained the A5N title today after obliterating South Korea 80-9 in a 12-try win. Yes, this is the same South Korean side that destroyed Singapore 85-0.

For the sake of Singapore rugby, one can only pray that the Japanese will decide to take their foot off the pedal in their remaining games now that they have won the A5N crown.

Here’s the report on both games. I found it here.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan


Japan defend Asian Five Nations Crown ( from

Hirotoki Onozawa celebrated his 50th cap in style with a four-try haul as Japan overwhelmed Korea 80-9 at the Hanazono Stadium in Osaka on Saturday to successfully defend the HSBC Asian Five Nations crown with one round remaining.

In scoring four tries the 31-year-old wing, only the fourth Japanese player to reach the half century, took his tally to 37 in international rugby and moved past his coach John Kirwan’s return of 35 in 63 Tests for the All Blacks. He remains some way behind his former teammate Daisuke Ohata’s record of 69 tries in 58 Tests. 

“I’ll probably buy him a bottle of champagne and share it with him,” Kirwan said afterwards. 

Japan out-though, out-ran and out-muscled Korea in Osaka as they ran in 12 tries to extend their unbeaten record to seven matches in Top 5 history, the first of these tries coming in the sixth minute when Shaun Webb sliced through some weak defence to cross under the posts. 

Within minutes wing Ayumu Goromaru had scored Japan’s second try, only for Korea to respond with a drop goal from Hong Jun Ki to make it 12-3 after 18 minutes. That was as close as the visitors were to get with the remainder of the match all Japan. 

Missed opportunities  

Jack Tarrant and Onozawa got their names on the scoresheet before Ryan Nicholas, who had converted three of Japan’s first four tries, closed out the first half with by converting his own try to send the defending champions in leading 33-3. 

There was no let up by Japan after the break with Nicholas picking up Webb’s superb grubber kick to race away for his second try, although Korea did increase their tally with two penalties from Hong before the 50-minute mark. 

Onozawa resumed the scoring with the impressive Webb, Tarrant and Yuta Imamura also crossing the try line before it was left the wing to cap his milestone Test with his fourth try and seal Japan’s emphatic victory to secure the title ahead of the trip to face Singapore next Sunday. 

“We are delighted to win the HSBC Asian Five Nations,” said Japan assistant coach Grant Doorey, who had been in charge of the team all week with Kirwan in Dublin with the team presenting Japan’s bid to host Rugby World Cup 2015 or 2019 to the IRB Council. 

“We were a little loose in the first half and we know we have to step up for the Pacific Nations Cup. We left 20 to 30 points out on the field, but to concede just nine points is a positive.” 

Hong Kong end Singapore dream 

The other match on the penultimate weekend of the competition was equally important with victory a must for both Hong Kong and Singapore in their quest to remain in the Top 5 for 2010 when it will determine Asia’s qualifier for Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand. 

Hong Kong made the most of their home advantage to run out 64-6 winners over Singapore, securing a bonus point which means that victory in Kazakhstan next weekend will see them finish as runners-up to Japan and bettering the third place finish in the inaugural competition in 2008. 

The backline was key to Hong Kong’s success and scored all nine of their tries with left wing Adam Raby bettering his hat-trick against Korea last weekend by crossing for four in the second half after the hosts had led 24-6 at the interval.

Right wing Simon Smith had scored twice in the first half with Rowan Varty running in another from 75 metres, the centre breaking three tackles and running around a couple more defender to dot down under the posts with Singapore’s only reply two penalties from the boot of fly half John Forrester. 

Four try haul 

A sweeping move led to Raby’s first try and the bonus point for Hong Kong with the wing taking his tally to seven tries in two internationals before the final whistle with Varty also crossing for two more tries to complete his hat-trick and Kenzo Pannell kicking 17 points in the match at the Hong Kong Football Club.

“I’m just a finisher, I depend on the rest of the guys and all credit to them,” insisted Raby. “Maybe I might score five tries against Kazakhstan next week, or none. It will all depend on how the team goes.”

His coach Dai Rees added: “Everyone in Hong Kong focuses on winning the one game and staying in the top division, but the boys are better than that. I’m confident of going away to Kazakhstan and beating them for we are now playing with width and playing with shape.”

The loss condemns Singapore to an immediate return to Division I and the end of their World Cup qualifying dream, but the better for the lessons they have learned from playing against the elite nations in Asia. 

“Hong Kong was the better side,” admitted Singapore coach Danny Tauroa. “Today our guys saw the gap between playing club rugby in Singapore and playing for Singapore in games like these.”


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