This report appeared in The Straits Times:
Youth hurdler upset over crash despite new mark
(The Straits Times, 01 Mar 2010)
RISING talent Goh Wei Ning continued her fine start to her competitive season, when she broke the national girls’ Under-17 100m hurdles record for the second time in a month on Saturday.
The Singapore Sports School student clocked 15.01sec in the Women’s U-18 final at the Singapore Athletic Association’s (SAA’s) 3rd All-Comers Meet at Gombak Stadium. She sliced 0.12sec off her national mark of 15.13sec.
But instead of celebrating, the 15-year-old cried after the event. She was upset that she had crashed into the eighth hurdle again during the race – just like how she did when she first broke the record on Feb 7 at the 2nd All-Comers.
It dashed her hopes of going under the 15sec mark for the first time.
“I am upset because I knew I could do a sub-15sec time. That would have been a huge boost,” said Wei Ning, who is aiming to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
To do so, she must clock at least 14.5sec by May. Although the YOG’s qualifying time for her event is 13.82sec, the SAA will nominate an athlete if her time is just off the qualifying standard.
Meanwhile, Nurul Jannah, 18, missed the national women’s triple jump record by a whisker yesterday. She leaped 11.69m, just shy of Mariam Shazana’s national mark of 11.73m. However, it bettered her personal best by 27cm.
“I was stunned as it was my first triple jump competition in 18 months,” said Nurul, who had been advised by national coach Valeri Obidko in late 2008 to focus on the long jump because of her back problems.
“I started training for the triple jump again in January. I think the break did me a lot of good because I feel fresher and more motivated.”
Firstly, my heartiest congratulations to Wei Ning for breaking the National Under-17 Girls 100m hurdles mark again. This means she has done it twice in three weeks. Great stuff, young lady!
Truly she is emerging as a potential top hurdler, and this can only be good news for Singapore athletics as a whole as it now means that national record holder Dipna Lim-Prasad (who holds the record of 14.94sec) can look forward to having an emerging rival to fend off and push her to better times. And vice-versa, of course.
I must say that I am a little concerned at the pressure that Wei Ning seems to be piling upon herself in her bid to qualify for the Youth Olympics.
Yes, she will need to work very hard to try to meet the 14.5sec timing (or thereabouts) that will enable the Singapore Athletic Association to nominate her for the YOG, and yes, doing a sub-15sec timing on Saturday would have given her a major boost in confidence going into this month’s National Junior Championships.
But I hope she doesn’t pressure herself too much, and I do hope her coach, Viatcheslav Vassilieve, and the people at the Sports School will help to calm her down and pull her from the brink.
Nurul Jannah’s new personla best in the women’s triple jump was also a pleasant surprise as I had thought the 18-year-old had given up the discipline for good to focus on the long jump.
In the initial years, it looked as though she was never going to beat Mariam Shazana in the triple jump, yet she also had quite an indifferent – or poor, if you want to be brutally frank – year in the long jump last year. As such, I have to admit that I had my concerns, and wondered if she might end up discouraged and throw in the towel.
But wallah! Her new personal best showed that there’s still a lot of life left in her. A new lease of life, in fact, for it seems that her 18-month absence from the triple jump has enabled her to grow as well as recharge her batteries.
It would be very fun to watch the battle in the sand-pit between Nurul and her good friend Mariam. And hopefully, it means that we will see a string of new records being set in the triple jump this year.
Great job, Nurul. Here’s wishing you a good 2010 in the sand pits.
Yours in sports
Singapore Sports Fan