ITE Simei, Saturday, January 26, 2013 – Six championship records were broken on the first day of the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Track and Field championships.
Republic Polytechnic (RP)’s T. Haarishankar clocked the fastest men’s 3000 metres steeplechase time by a local runner in over a decade, when he ran a time of nine minutes 45.26 seconds to win the gold medal handily.
That shattered the championship record of 9:57.6, set by N Ganesan in 1993, a year before Haarishankar was born, as well as his own 10 month old personal best of 10:00.38. The last Singaporean runner who has went quicker than Haarishankar was G Elangovan, who ran a 9:34.55 at the Pahang Open in 2001. Incidentally, Elangovan is Haarishankar’s coach.
Defending IVP champion Muhd Shah Feroz of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) finished a distant second in 10:24.07. Feroz himself went sub-10 minutes in winning the title last year, in a time of 9:59.68. Haarishankar and Feroz are joined by junior runner Karthic Harish Ragupathy (9:57.95) as the only locals in recent years who have went below 10 minutes in this event.
Soh Rui Yong, a first-year Business Administration student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), made it two titles in as many weekends by winning the men’s 10000m final. His time of 32:58.09 bettered Mok Ying Ren’s 33:12.85 set three years ago.
Rui Yong, 21, defended his men’s open title at last Saturday’s 62nd Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) Cross Country Championships. At last month’s ASEAN University Games, he became the first Singaporean in 22 years to run the 10000m in under 33 minutes. His 32:26.00 result placed him fourth in the final, and made him the second fastest local in the all-time event rankings.
Chong Ming Xun (NUS) broke Dominic Chan’s year-old Pole Vault championship record of 4.31 metres with his first-time clearance of 4.40m, his opening height. Ming Xun, a South-east Asian Games bronze medallist in 2011, went on to clear 4.70m on his third attempt, before failing thrice at a would-be national record of 4.82m.
It equaled his personal best, a mark which Ming Xun has registered on four different occasions now. He had failed to clear a height at last year’s championships.
Olympian Dipna Lim Prasad of NTU twice broke Ranjit Kaur’s 28-year-old record in the women’s 100m hurdles to defend her title. Dipna, who participated at last year’s London Olympics, ran a time of 14.58 seconds in the heats to break the record of 15.2s, and bettered it by a further two hundredths of a second in the final to win by nearly two seconds.
It tied her own record of the fastest time ran on local soil. The 21-year-old is the current national record holder at 14.23 seconds, set in Taiwan 20 months ago.
Dipna’s ex-Singapore Sports School and current NTU schoolmate, T. Piriyah, smashed the women’s 400m record. She clocked a time of 58.60 seconds to break Nikita Sharda’s 2010 record of 60.26s. The high-quality finish saw Wendy Enn (RP, 59.62) and Goh Chui Ling (NTU, 59.98) also go below the record as well as the minute mark.
Piriyah’s personal best of 57.11 seconds set in 2008 is the National Youth and Under-17 mark.
Nurul Jannah, another Sports School alumnus and current NTU student, bettered Wong Kit Fei’s triple jump record of 11.48m by two centimeters. It enabled Jannah to defend her IVP title, and it was her longest jump in nearly three years. Second-placed Fiona Ng (NUS) cleared 11.41m for a new personal best.
NUS currently lead the women’s, men’s and overall title chase. They look to be in a strong position to retain the latter two titles which they had won last year, and to also wrest the women’s championship from NTU.
The second and final day of competition is on Saturday, February 2nd.
Championship Standings (Day 1)
1. National University of Singapore – 101 points
2. Nanyang Technological University – 73
3. Singapore Institute of Management – 46
4. Temasek Polytechnic – 30
5. Ngee Ann Polytechnic – 28
6. Singapore Management University – 23
7. Republic Polytechnic – 20
8. Nanyang Polytechnic – 20
9. Singapore Polytechnic – 15
10. Institute of Technical Education – 11
11. Singapore University of Technology and Design – 3
1. National University of Singapore – 87 points
2. Nanyang Technological University – 43
3. Ngee Ann Polytechnic – 30
4. Republic Polytechnic – 27
5. Nanyang Polytechnic – 26
6. Institute of Technical Education – 9
7. Singapore Polytechnic – 9
8. Singapore University of Technology and Design – 8
9. Singapore Institute of Management – 5
10. Singapore Management University – 4
11. Temasek Polytechnic – 1