Benjamin, Sean and Jacob clear same height to break National Schools A Division pole vault mark

It looks like an unusual situation occured in the A Boys pole vault final at the 51st Schools Nationals Track and Field Championships today.

Chua Da Wei’s record of 4.31, which was set in 2006, was finally broken today, not once, not twice, but three times.

But the three pole vaulters all cleared the same height – 4.40m.

The three vaulters were Benjamin Ng and Sean Lim (both from Hwa Chong Institution) and Jacob Yao (Raffles Institution).

It looks like Benjamin probably won the gold in the end by countback. And likewise, Jacob probably pipped Sean to the silver in the same way.

I am wondering whether the record books will reflect all three students’ names or whether Bejamin’s will be the only one by virtue of his gold.

I must say I am surprised by Sean’s cleared height though.

After all, the 17-year-old was in sensational form after his record-breaking 4.36m effort in the B Division final at last year’s Championships. His purple patch saw him soaring as high as 4.61m in other competitions en route to breaking the national junior record.

It also booked him his tickets to the World Youth Championships and the South-east Asian Games.

I’m wondering if he was subsequently injured in the tail-end of 2009 and whether he is currently trying to regain his old form after recovering.

I would appreciate it if anyone who has any information about this, can drop me a line.

In the meantime, my heartiest congratulations to the trio. Well done, guys!

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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6 thoughts on “Benjamin, Sean and Jacob clear same height to break National Schools A Division pole vault mark

  1. angkujupi says:

    Well done, boys !
    Not just sprinters & throwers, our long & high jumpers are also showing promise !

    Don’t forget the good work of their coach, David Yeo I understand he is also coach of woman pole vaulter Rachel Yang.

    SSF, what do you think of this new Briton that Sports School has engaged as reported in Today newspaper ?

    Good credentials on paper, I am hopeful because Sports School’s athletics coach hiring record is much better than SAA’s such that in the past, Loh Lin Kok saw their success then jump in to appoint some as ‘National Coaches’ – then trumpet ‘I pay half their salary’ !

    • singaporesportsfan says:

      Hi Angkujupi

      Thanks for writing.

      I am reserving judgment on Nigel Hetherington, the Singapore Sports School’s new head coach for athletics, for now, and adopting a wait-and-see approach.
      Let’s see how he fares, given time. He probably needs a year to figure out and adapt to the local scene.

      It was the same with Valeri Obidko. But Obidko had the advantage of having coached in Malaysia for several years before moving to Singapore in 2003. So adapting to the local scene was probably easier for him.

      Still, it’s the results matter the most, and on this count, it is clear he has done very well in producing the first generation of SEA Games-level jumpers.

      But I do like the fact that Hetherington seems to be experienced and particularly interested in the area of youth development.

      That’s what our track and field scene truly needs – sound practices and systems being put in place in the area of youth development, something the Singapore Athletics Association has ignored for a very long time.

      I would like to wish him all the best. Let’s keep our fingers crossed


      • Brad says:

        Nigel Hetherington was my first coach from the age of 13 up until he moved to Scotland when I was 20. He is a great coach and a fantastic person, I’m sure he will succeed and you will be more than impressed.


      • singaporesportsfan says:

        Thanks for the feedback, Brad.
        Much appreciated


  2. justanothercritic says:

    Something related to this article. Today’s A division girls High Jump saw an amazing 4 silvers!!! Granted the height is nothing to crow about. but still… 4 silvers!!!

    • Two cents worth says:

      Congratulations! to the 4 silver medallists of A girls’ High Jump. However, to have a 4 way tie shows that the officials are just mechanically running the meet. Height progression in a competition has everything to do with ties. Under IAAF rules, the minimum height increment for high jump is 2cm. It is advised that officials should minimize ties in a competition by using small increments in the last few heights. In the said event, the height was increased by 5cm.

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