Tag Archives: Pedro Acuna

Shanti is a class above the rest but kudos too to Jannah, Timothee and the Hwa Chong 4x400m girls relay team

The report:

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.

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My thoughts:

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

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Shanti, Eugenia, Zachary and Zhi Xuan shine brightest on last day of National Schools C’ships

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.

Stunning stuff.

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

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Shanti and Eugenia take turns to break Girls C Division 200m record

Congratulations to Singapore Sports School sprinters Shanti Pereira and Eugenia Tan.

The two 13-year-olds, who are coached by Chilean Pedro Acuna,  got the 51st National Schools Track and Field Championships off to a rousing start on its first day on Thursday by taking turns to break the Girls C Division 200m record.

Shanti earned the distinction of being the first record-breaker of the Championships when she clocked 26.54sec in her heat. The time is 0.04sec faster than the record of 26.58sec which was set by her sister, Valerie Pereira, in 2004.

But Eugenia wiped Shanti’s name off that record mere minutes later when she clocked 26.30sec in her heat.

There is a very strong possibility that both girls will lower the mark even further in the days to come (the semi-finals will be held next week while the final will be on the following week).

After all, Shanti is the current national U-15 record holder. She had set the new record at last August’s Thailand Sports School Games  with her time of 26.03sec.

Also, two weeks ago, the Secondary Two student clocked 25.84sec in the Girls U-14 200m at the West Australian Little Athletics Championships (better known generally as WALA). However, that time cannot be ratified as a national record as there were no wind gauges at the meet.

Both girls also clearly pulled their punches during their heats at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium – in other words, they didn’t go all out.

So yes, I am looking forward to watching them in action next week and the week after.

All the best to the both of them.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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