By Romaine Soh/Red Sports
Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Tuesday, April 9, 2013 — Karthic Harish Ragupathy of Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) successfully defended his A Division 5,000 metres title with a time of 16 minutes 33 seconds at the 54th National Schools Track and Field Championships.
Besides shaving 19 seconds off his timing from last year, Karthic was the only runner in the field to go under 17 minutes. Karthic recently won his second A Division cross country title at the national schools meet.
Runner-up, Bryan Yong of Raffles Institution (RI), won the silver in 17:09, also improving on last year’s timing by 26 seconds. He won the bronze last year.
Marcus Ng of Victoria Junior College (VJC) redeemed himself after his seventh-place finish at the recent Cross Country Nationals, taking home the bronze in 17:31.
Karthic took the lead from the start of the race, continually increasing the gap between himself and his competitors until no one had a hope of catching him. His nearest competitors, Bryan and Lim Jia De of RI, were 50m behind him by the third lap.
Karthic’s first four rounds were each covered within 74-76 seconds, on track for breaking the championship record of 15:40.58, set by Darshananth S/O Jayaraman, then of Innova Junior College, in 2006.
However, his lap timings slowed to the 80s in the second half of the race, snuffing out any hopes of a new National Schools record being written.
Halfway through the race, Bryan, who had been running with Jia De since the start, upped the tempo to secure second place, leaving Jia De to set his own pace.
Marcus contracted a stitch halfway through the race, causing him to lag behind in a pack consisting of himself, Jonathan Tan of RI, and Justin Tan of VJC, putting him in danger of missing out on a top-four finish.
Fortunately, Marcus was able to recover quickly, putting in a superb finishing kick in the last lap that saw him catch Jia De at the final 150m, earning himself the bronze.
Karthic had a mixed reaction about the race. “Although I was on track for the record in the first half, my body could not take the pace, so I switched my sights to winning the gold.”
The 3,000m steeplechase, of which Karthic is also the defending champion, is next in line before his last season comes to a close. If he manages to defend his title, he will have achieved a hat-trick of three individual titles in this season, including cross country.
A Division Boys 5,000m Results
1st Karthic Harish Ragupathy (HCI, #275) — 16:33.34
2nd Yong Ren Wei Bryan (RI, #157) — 17:09.79
3rd Marcus Ng Yu Pei (VJC, #216) — 17:31.25
4th Lim Jia De (RI, #137) — 17:39.86
5th Tan Hoe En Jonathan (RI, #149) — 17:49.63
6th Tan Ching Keng Justin (VJC, #226) — 18:06.16
7th Joel Ng Jo Wei (HCI, #274) — 18:17.86
8th Kishorwaran S/O Selvaraju (ACJC, #246) — 18:28.17
9th Jeremy Lim Tze En (ACS(I), #61) — 18:36.70
10th Marc Amiruddin Nabill Bin Abdul Malek (MI, #301) — 18:42.03
11th Niresh Ranjakunalan (ACS(I), #71) — 19:03.95
12th P S Pandiyan (VJC, #221) — 19:23.21
13th Chua Kah Siong (NJC, #102) — 19:30.09
14th Ho Jian Xiong (ACJC, #243) — 19:36.54
15th Ng Wei Siang (ACJC, #250) — 19:56.04
16th Stanley Goh Qi Ming (CJC, #96) — 20:36.36
Video © SAA. Used with permission.
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