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