Tag Archives: pole vault

Newsflash: Thong En spears down national junior record

Victoria Junior College student Koh Thong En speared his way to a new national junior mark as he finished fifth in the men’s javelin at the 70th Singapore Open Track and Field Championships last Sunday. 

Koh Thong En in action during the 49th National Schools Track and Field Championships (picture courtesy of redsports.sg)

Koh Thong En in action during the 49th National Schools Track and Field Championships (picture courtesy of redsports.sg)

The 17-year-old first-year student threw 54.14m at the Bukit Gombak Stadum to eclipse the national junior record mark of 53.70m set by Akid Chong during the 34th Singapore Junior Athletics Championships in late June.

The event was won by Sri Lanka’s K. H. K Gunathilaka who threw 74.85m. China’s Qin Qiang took the silver with 71.12m while Japan’s Yamamoto Kazuki was third wth 68.01m.

Thong En had already shown signs during the recent 49th National Schools Track and Field Championships that he was capable of hurling beyond the 53m mark when he won the Boys A Division event with a distance of 54.78m.

However, that was achieved with a 700g javelin, the stipulated weight for the A Division Boys competition whereas 800g javelins – the adult standard – were used at the Singapore Open.

If Thong En’s record is ratified by the Singapore Athletics Association, it would be the 18th national open and junior mark to be broken this year (see here and here for a list of the other records that have been broken to date) 

Despite seeing his name wiped off the national record books, Nanyang Polytechnic student Akid Chong still had some reason to smile at the Singapore Open. His best effort of 53.90m, which helped him to finish sixth eventually, is a new personal best and also bettered the existing national junior mark.

The fact that only 0.24m is separating the two young athletes means that Singapore track and field fans could be in for a huge treat the next few times Thong En and Akid come into battle again.

The Singapore Sports Fan extends his heartiest congratulations to Thong En and hopes that he and Akid will continue to set new standards for Singapore athletics.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan  

Related links:

24 June 2008 – Fields of gold: 14 national open and junior records and counting!

2 July -The SSF Interview: Akid looking to spear national mark next

6 July – And Balpreet makes it 15 (pity thate two others slipped away though)

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Fields of gold: 16 new national open and junior records and counting!

The report:

This came out as a sports brief in The Straits Times yesterday (23 June 2008 ) so I’m just reproducing it here for those who may have missed it:

SPORTS WORLD (The Straits Times, 23 June 2008 )


Akid rewrites javelin mark


NANYANG Polytechnic student Akid Chong set a new national junior javelin record at the 34th Singapore Junior Athletics Championships yesterday.


He threw 53.70 metres to win the Under-20 final at the Gombak Stadium and eclipse the previous mark of 53.62m set by Huang Huaren in 1992.


Hwa Chong Institution (High School) pole vaulter Sean Lim leapt 4.16m to break Jacob Yao’s Under-17 mark of 4.10m set last year.



My thoughts:


Great to learn that another national junior record was broken over the weekend, this time at the 34th Singapore Juniors. Heartiest congratulations to Akid Chong for his new national junior javelin mark.


Here’s a shout-out too to pole vaulter Sean Lim. Here’s hoping he will eventually break the national junior record (4.60m by Solomon Tan in 2003 ) and that the national open record will follow soon after (4.66m by Mok Hay Foo, 1993 ) soon after.


Just thought I’d provide a service to all followers of the local athletics scene by listing out all the national Open and national junior records that have been broken this year to date. As mentioned before, it’s a pretty impressive haul. More significantly, it’s continuing to grow.


Here’s the list to date:


National Open Records – 6

1. Men’s Triple Jump – 15.71m by Stefan Tseng*

2. Men’s Triple Jump – 15.78m by Stefan Tseng*

3. Men’s Long Jump – 7.41m by Kenneth Wang Kan

4. Men’s Long Jump – 7.45m by Calvin Cheng

5. Women’s Pole Vault – 3.60m by Rachel Yang

6. Women’s Triple Jump – 11.66m by Mariam Shazana*


National Junior Records – 10

1. Men’s Triple Jump – 15.71m by Stefan Tseng*

2. Men’s Triple Jump – 15.78m by Stefan Tseng* 

3. Men’s Long Jump – 7.22m by Matthew Goh

4. Men’s Long Jump – 7.23m by Matthew Goh

5. Men’s Long Jump – 7.45m by Calvin Cheng

6. Men’s Javelin – 53.70m by Akid Chong

7. Men’s 100m – 10.53sec by Calvin Kang

8. Men’s Discus (1.75kg) – 49.60m by Scott Wong

9. Men’s Shot Put (6kg) – 14.88m by Scott Wong

10. Women’s Triple Jump – 11.66m by Mariam Shazana*


Note: Stefan and Mariam also broke the national and national junior records (15.71m and 11.63m respectively) at the British Age-Group Indoor Championships in February. But those marks are not recognised by the SAA as they occured indoors. If they had been, then we would be looking at a total of 8 new national open marks and 10 new national junior marks so far this year. 


Have I missed out on any other records? If so, please let me know either by dropping me a comment or sending me a mail at sporesportsfan@yahoo.com.sg. Thanks. Your help will go a long way in helping me to maintain the accuracy of the statistics.


What’s also significant is that most of the records, save for the 100m national junior record, are coming from field events. This suggests one thing to me: that perhaps this, and not the track events, is Singapore’s niche area, and that the SAA should strongly consider spending more time and pouring more resources into.


That was just what Teck Whye Secondary did in the late 1990s. It realised that it did not have any runners so it focused on training its students in the throws.


And it was a smart move that paid off handsomely because the school would consistently finish in the top five in the overall standings at the National Schools Track and Field Championships with its golds in the throws, and without a single track win! (Amazing, their throws coach, Choo Chee Kiong wasn’t even a trained throws coach in the first place – he was a former youth gymnast!)


And today, Teck Whye alumni Wan Lay Chi (shot put and discus) and Chia Chiangyi (shot put) are now national junior record holders of their respective disciplines.


It’s also great to see old-time national records being wiped off the slate.


If you look at the list of national open and junior marks, you can see that there are some records that are still around from the 1960s, 1970s and early 80s. Clearly, standards have, up to the new millenium, either stagnated or plummeted over the years, leaving us with in a very embarrassing situation.


I mean, doesn’t anyone feel shy that Osman Merican’s 110m national record of 14.76sec, which was set in 1966, is still the standard to beat in Singapore athletics today?


That is why I am always puzzled when newspapers ask former athletes whether they feel sad that their long-standing records have been broken. Why should they feel sad? They should be naturally happy that someone has breached the mark because it means that Singapore athletics has taken a step forward.


Likewise, I was a little disturbed by what Kenneth Wang Kan supposedly said in the report in The Sunday Times (22 June 2008 ) on Calvin Cheng breaking the men’s long jump record. This is the excerpt from the report on Kenneth’s reaction:


Wang, who was not at the competition, heard of the record and subsequent versions of the judging process.


…The 21-year-old full-time national serviceman then rushed to the stadium to seek clarification from observers and officials at the pit.


After speaking with the Field Referee, Wang said: ‘I am still puzzled by the judging process. The announcement of the jump’s distance had already been made, so how could the performance mark be changed just because of some protests?  I feel the judging was done in an unfair and unjust way.’


He has lodged an appeal with the Singapore Athletic Association 


Why lodge an appeal? After all, the SAAA, through its vice-president Loh Lin Yeow, had already declared the new distance as official.


Honestly, it would have really been better if Kenneth had expressed happiness that his training mate had broken his record and had said that he looked forward to the new challenge of getting his name back into the record books by the end of the year.


Here’s to more national records being broken and to athletes spurring and encouraging their training mates onto greater heights, longer distances and better times.


Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan


Related links:


21 June – Newsflash: Calvin Cheng smashes national long jump mark at Singapore Juniors

14 June – Newsflash: Stefan shatters national jumps record at Asian Juniors

13 June – Newsflash: Calvin Kang rewrites national junior 100m mark

11 June – Rachel vaults to a new high

21 May – Dawn of a new era in Singapore athletics?




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Rachel vaults to a new high

The report:

mypaper (mypaper.sg) reported today that national pole vaulter Rachel Yang soared to a new national record at the Taipei Open last month. The 26-year-old cleared 3.60m to break her own national mark of 3.50m. She also finished third in her event. Rachel is now aiming to clear 4.00m by the end of the year.

Here’s a picture of the report. You can also find the story in its entirety (as in what it wold have looked like physically in the print edition) here (pg A 14 )

My thoughts:

I was really pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon this story today. Even though Rachel’s achievement is a month old, it was still news to me because I don’t recall having read it in any of the main English papers.

I guess also that mypaper chosed a more featurish approach to announcing Rachel’s new national mark because the news was no longer fresh (even though it hadn’t been reported previously ). No matter, I enjoyed reading it all the same because it gave me a better insight about the athlete.

So my heartiest congratulations, Rachel! And may you continue to break your national record many times over. 

The 26-year-old is probably still some distance away from being a possible medal contender at next year’s SEA Games in Laos – after all, the qualifying height for the 207 Games was 4.60m.

But as the saying goes, all good things come to those who perservere. And judging from the story on Rachel, she does come across as a fighter.

Back to the lack of media coverage on Rachel’s feat – I wonder why this could have happened in the first place? It can’t be that the media isn’t interested judging from the sort of increasing coverage that they have been giving to local athletes. 

Was there no press release by the Singapore Amateur Athletics Association? Or does the SAA usually not do such things?

And if so, why not? Shouldn’t this be part and parcel – the bread and butter, in fact – of a national sports association’s scope of work: to find as many opportunities as possible to highlight the achievements of their athletes?

Wouldn’t this be one of the most fundamental things that one, as the governor of the sport in your country, would want to do – draw public attention to all the good things that are happening in their sport?

In the light of this, this is my call to action to everyone out there who visits this site: if you do know of any achievements by our national athletes (from seniors to juniors to school athletes) that have gone unnoticed bythe media, please let me know, either by dropping a comment at this site or by sending an email to sporesportsfan@yahoo.com.sg.

I promise you this: if it is newsworthy enough, I will not only publicise it on this blog, I will also alert my contacts in the mainstream media as well as the other websites that write about local sport ( such as redsports.sg and singaporeathletics.com ) 

Going back to Rachel’s new national mark – do you know that this means that four new national open records and three national junior records have been set this year?

Triple jumpers Stefan Tseng and Mariam Shazana set new national men’s and women’s open and junior records at the Pahang Open last month (Stefan cleared 15.71m while Mariam jumped 11.66m) while Kenneth Wang Kan set a new national men’s long jump record (7.41m ) at the 3rd All-Comers Meet.

Finally, Matthew Goh set a new national junior mark in the long jump earlier this year with his 7.23m effort.

And the exciting thing is that there could be more to come this week.

Stefan, Matthew and national sprinter Calvin Kang, who holds the national junior mark of 10.55sc, are among part of the Singapore team competing at this weeks 13th Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Jakarta ( see www.asianathletics.org )

You can probably forget about them setting any Asian junior records because the current marks are way beynd what they can possibly achieve right now. For example, the boy’s triple jump mark is 16.73m, the long jump mark is 7.85m and the 100m record is 10.26sec. (Mariam isn’t competing because she hasn’t met the qualifying mark of 11.77m ).

But who knows what the higher level of competition may bring out of them? If the conditions are right, and the athletes are in the zone, we could see a few more natinal marks added to this year’s tally.

And if that happens, you can be sure that I will not only be writing about it here – but also passing the information to the local media.  

Here’s wishing the Singapore team in Jakarta all the best.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

(note: picture of report on Rachel Yang taken from http://myepaper.mypaper.sg

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