Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Friday, April 5, 2013 — Chan Sheng Yao, 17, of Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) wrote himself into the record books when he cleared 4.82 metres in the A Division pole vault at the 54th National Schools Track and Field Championships this afternoon.
Sheng Yao, coached by David Yeo, broke the national record of 4.81m set by Sean Lim at the Singapore Under-23/Open Track and Field Championships in June 2011, according to the Facebook page of the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA). Sheng Yao also erased the A Division record of 4.80m, also set by Sean. The mark is also a new U-23, national junior and youth record.
SAA will have to ratify the record.
Nick Ellis Ho of Raffles Institution and Darren Tan of HCI both managed 4.31m but Nick was second on a countback.
“Technique wise, I was thinking of accelerating at the last few steps of my run-up, because my legs were really tried,” said Sheng Yao about his record-breaking attempt.
“It was a tiring competition for me, having made many jumps and crossing quite a number of heights at the third attempt. And it motivated me further that I should make this jump a golden one and end it with a national record.
“What’s more is that the whole stadium was cheering for me and I told myself, ‘I am going to break the national record’,” added Sheng Yao.
Sheng Yao’s personal best before today’s performance was 4.64m, which he set in 2012 at the national schools championships, when he took part in and won the B Division. That mark is currently the B Division record.
Sheng Yao’s clearance of 4.82m also means he now holds six records at one go – the National Men’s, National Junior Men, Men’s Under-23, Men’s Under-19, Youth Best Performance and A Division boys.
Sheng Yao cleared 4.06m on his first attempt. He progressed past 4.21m and took three attempts to clear 4.31m. Sheng Yao then needed two tries to clear 4.41m.
Sheng Yao then went straight to 4.70m. He missed on his first two tries before making it on his third. He then went for the record-breaking height of 4.82m, and took three tries to get the national record. Sheng Yao now holds six records in six categories – the national men’s, national junior men’s, U-23, U-19, Youth Best Performance and A Division, according to SAA.
This is the third time this year that Sheng Yao has met the South-East Asian (SEA) Youth Championship qualifying mark of 4.00m and the second time this year that he has met the IAAF World Youth Championship qualifying mark of 4.55m, according to SAA.
Sheng Yao believes that he can do better.
“With a national record broken, mental barrier can be said to be broken already. It took me one whole year to break the national record. And yes, I believe I can achieve greater heights at international competition. I am definitely not going to stop at this mark, I am going to raise the bar up further to break the 5.00m mark.
“This year will be the year with two major games for me – World Youth and SEA Games – and my training plans and targets will be working towards these two competitions.”
Sheng Yao, at 17 years, 20 days old, is one of the youngest to hold a national record. Stefan Tseng was 16 years 5 months old when he broke the national triple jump record of 15.52m in July 2006 with a 15.52m effort at the ASEAN Schools Championships in Chiangmai, Thailand.
James Wong was 17 years, 3 months old, when he broke the discus record of 41.45m in April 1986. James is the current national discus record holder with a 59.87m throw in Wiesbaden, Germany.
The youngest female national record holder is Mariam Shazana, who was 14 years, 26 days old, with her triple jump effort of 11.36m in July 2006.
A Div Pole Vault Results
1st Chan Sheng Yao (HCI) — 4.82m (New Record)
2nd Nick Ellis Ho (RI) — 4.31
3rd Darren Tan Yuan Shao (HCI) — 4.31
4th Chia Jia Ying (RI) — 4.06
5th Ng Dewey (RI) — 3.91
6th Andre Lim You Kwan (ACS(I)) — 3.51
Seow Kian Rong Timothy (ACS(I)) — Did Not Qualify
Aaron Koh Xu Qing (HCI) — Did Not Qualify
Min Junyi (ACS(I)) — Withdrawal
Video © of SAA. Used with permission.
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