This report appeared in today’s edition of The Straits Times:
SHANTI IS STAR OF SHOW AGAIN
(The Straits Times, 28 April 2011)
By May Chen
SHANTI Pereira was in a league of her own at the Schools National Track and Field Championships which ended yesterday.
The Singapore Sports School (SSP) student won and set new championship records in all her three events – B Girls’ 100m, 4x100m and 4x400m – at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
Her 12.43sec, in particular, eclipses Nurulaini Ariffin’s 16-year-old 100m mark (12.54) by more than a tenth of a second and her personal best of 12.55.
She also came within a whisker of the 200m mark – Nurulaini’s 25.65 set in 1995 – with a 25.68 to repeat last year’s four-gold feat.
The 15-year-old said: “I set out to break the 26sec mark for the 200m and run a personal best for the 100m. I managed to do both, so it feels really good.”
Irwin Seet, SSP’s director of sports, said: “She’s clearly one of the brightest talents Singapore has seen in a while. We hope she will take her talents onto the international stage soon.”
Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) completed a clean sweep of the boys’ titles, including a commanding 53-point lead over Raffles Institution (RI) for the A Division title that has eluded them since 2007.
Said A Div captain Lim Kang Le: “The team start out every year aiming to win the title, but it also depends on how strong we are. We had a really strong team this year on both track and field.”
HCI alone accounted for half of the six new A Div records, including Sean Lim’s national pole vault mark set last Monday.
A total of 13 meet records across all divisions tumbled this year.
Some, like the HCI Girls’ A 4x400m quartet, were surprised by how well they did. They clocked 4min 02.47sec to shave more than six seconds off the 4:08.95 that Catholic Junior College set in 2006.
Said coach Pedro Acuna: “All four of them ran their personal bests, and I even had two running below 60 seconds. That has never happened.”
RI had a similarly successful 4x400m quartet. The Boys’ A team, which included 17-year-old Ng Chin Hui, ran 3:19.64 to rewrite the 3:22.66 set by the then-Raffles Junior College in 2005.
The time also betters the 3:19.99 a Singapore foursome set at the Singapore Athletic Association Track and Field Series 3 earlier this month. That team, with Chin Hui in it, met the qualifying mark – the 2009 SEA Games bronze-medal time of 3:26.46 – for the Nov 11-25 South-east Asia Games in Indonesia.
Overall, Raffles Institution successfully defended their Girls’ A title, while the Sports School and Cedar Girls’ Secondary took the Girls’ B and C titles respectively.
I have to say I am a little confused. The above report says that 13 records tumbled at this year’s National Schools Track and Field Championships. But when I go to this link to count the records, I get 14 instead.
Perhaps some kind soul out there can shed some light on this.
Back to the action on the track. While Shanti was undoubtedly the star of this year’s championships with her scintillating performances, I feel that special mention should be reserved for Timothee Yap of Hwa Chong Institute and Jannah Wong of Katong Convent.
Both students should be lauded for achieving the rare feat of breaking the record in their respective events twice.
Jannah broke the B Girls 100m hurdles mark twice – she clocked 14.92sec in the heats, and then proceeded to better it in the final with her time of 14.85sec.
Likewise, Timothee set a new A Boys 400m hurdles record in the heats with his time of 55.19sec and then he broke that in the final with his superb effort of 54.80sec.
My heartiest congratulations to both of them.
I also like the mention above of the HCI A Girls 4x400m relay team who clocked a new record of 4min 02.47sec.
According to their coach, Pedro Acuna, all four runners clocked personal bests during the relay and two of them even ran personal bests.
Brilliant stuff – hats off to all the four runners. I wish the newspaper report had provided their names though.
Any kind soul out there who can assist in providing their names to me?
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan