Photos and update by Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports.
Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Friday, July 11, 2008 – Goh Chui Ling (#259) of Macpherson Secondary overcame her competition to win the the B Division Girls high jump gold at the 49th Inter-school Track & Field Championships. She jumped 1.59m, an improvement over her second-place jump of 1.51m last year.
Melissa Wu (#162) of Cedar Girls’, who won the gold last year in the C Division girls event, also jumped a height of 1.59m. However, she fell to Chui Ling in the countback.
Jessica Lee (#112) of CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) settled for the bronze when she only managed to clear a height of 1.56m.
One casualty was Frances Grace Lai (#31) of CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’. Coming in third in last year’s C Division girls high jump event, she crashed out early, managing a height of only 1.40m. Tears of disappointment fell down her face as she sat in the waiting area. At the height of 1.53m, Debby Wong (#220) of Raffles Girls’, Chui Ling and Melissa had no problems clearing the bar as they jumped over with ease. All eyes then turned to Jessica Lee who had failed to clear her first jump. As she went up for her second jump, she clipped the bar right before she landed. Looking at her coach, she heeded her coach’s advice to skip the jump.
Moving on to a height of 1.56m, Debby failed to clear the height and it was down to the final three. Chui Ling and Melissa had cleared the bar and the pressure was again on Jessica. Making her approach run, she took a few steps and lifted into the air. She sailed right across the bar and landed on the foam bed. A scream of excitement escaped from her mouth as she celebrated her achievement.
Tension was mounting as the bar height was raised to 1.59m. Chui Ling made her approach run and sailed right over the bar without any problems. When she looked back at the still intact bar, she was a face of disbelief. She walked off to where her coach was and burst out in excitement. Jessica again followed her coach’s advice to skip the jump. Melissa had clipped the bar on her first two attempts and this was her final chance for the gold. As she leaped into the air, she cleared the bar and landed on the foam bed. Controlling her happiness, she hurried off back to her cheering team mates at the waiting area.
As the bar was raised to 1.62m, the girls were definitely on edge. The meet record was 1.64m and they were inching towards that height. Chui Ling and Melissa had failed to clear the bar on their first attempt. All eyes were on Jessica. After skipping the previous two jumps, this was her only chance to progress into the next round. As she approached the bar, it seemed like something was wrong. Her take off seemed a little mis-timed and she crashed into the bar when she landed on the soft bed. The expression of immense pain could be seen on her face as she limped off clutching her back. Hunched over at the waiting area, one could sense her frustration as she let out her emotions at her coach at the sidelines.
The fight was now down to Chui Ling and Melissa. Chui Ling failed to clear both her jumps at 1.62m, to the groans of her supporters in the grandstand. Melissa was just as unlucky at the same height as she clipped the bar on her third attempt. Disappointed, she still seemed optimistic as she still managed a smile when she got back to the waiting area.
There will still be next year where more medals will be won. Good job girls!
More photos in the gallery.