Shanti Pereira, Eugenia Tan and Zachary Devaraj produced stunning record-breaking performances today to provide a fitting end to an exciting National Schools Track and Field Championships.
Singapore Sports School sprinters Shanti and Eugenia, who are coached by Pedro Acuna, had a day to remember as they both cracked the Girls C Division 100m record and played a role in helping their school to set a new 4x100m relay mark.
However, it will be Shanti’s name in the record books as the new holder of the 100m mark.
The 14-year-old blazed the track at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium to clock 12.75sec in the 100m final, slicing 0.08sec off the prevailing record of 12.83sec. Schoolmate Eugenia also went under the record as she clocked 12.81sec to finish second.
Both Shanti and Eugenia were also part of the 4x100m relay team that set a new record of 49.67sec to smash the 50.53sec record. Incidentally, that record was also set by the Sports School back in 2004.
The duo then grabbed their second relay gold medal when they starred in the 4x400m relay. Although they did their best, the quartet’s time of 4min 13.31sec was just off the record of 4:12.84, also set by the Sports School in 2004.
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) distance runner Zachary Devaraj broke an 11-year-old B Boys record as he stormed home in 4:12.61sec, more than a second faster than the 4:14.13 that Kannan Poobalan set in 1999 in Victoria School’s colours.
The 16-year-old collected his second distance record at the Championships today after slaying the 14-year-old 800m record of 1:58.38 last Thursday with his effort of 1:57.34.
The ACS (I) 4x100m quartet was also in magnificent record-breaking form today. They clocked 42.58sec to break the 11-year-old mark of 43.14sec which was also set by the school in 1999.
The most significant new record, in my humble opinion, was set by Cedar Girls’ Chan Zhi Xuan. She hurled her discus to a distance of 37.94m in the B Girls final to crack Wan Lay Chi’s meet and Schools National record of 37.25m.
As Lay Chi has gone on to represent Singapore at the SEA Games, it means that Zhi Xuan definitely has the talent and potential to do the same eventually if she decides to continue in the discipline. I do hope she will.
Can you imagine what a wonderful sight it would be to see two local-born female throwers in action for us at the SEA Games?
As it is, it was a proud moment for me as a long-time observer of Singapore athletics to see fresh young talents Matthew Goh and Stefan Tseng jumping at last year’s SEA Games.
Back to the National Schools Championships. It seems that a totalof 18 championship records and six schools national records were set at this year’s meet (I say ‘it seems’ because I counted 18 while the website says 16. I wonder what’s causing the discrepancy.)
My heartiest congratulations to all the record-breakers. May this spur you on to greater heights. Hopefully, we will get to see some of you representing Singapore at the SEA Games one day.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan