By Romaine Soh/Red Sports
Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Friday, April 12, 2013 — Tan Chong Qi of Raffles Institution (RI) beat Thineshwaran Krishnakumar of Bendemeer Secondary to the finish line with his very last step to win the B Division 2,000m steeplechase final at the 54th National Schools Track and Field Championships. Only 0.25 seconds separated the two.
Chong Qi clocked 6 minutes 46.30 seconds while Thinesh was timed at 6:46.55.
Edward Lee of St Joseph’s Institution (SJI) put in a last-minute surge at the final lap to bring him past Hwa Chong’s Dylan Tan and earn himself the bronze in a time of 6:48.
Thinesh and teammate Ivan Hong had taken the lead from the start, determined to establish a gap between themselves and the rest of the field in their medal attempt. The RI trio of Chong Qi, Willy Lim and Rahul Jayaprabha were unrelenting in their pursuit, forming a pack with the Bendemeer boys before the second lap.
Edward started making his way up to the front pack, taking Willy, who was then in fifth position, at the second last water jump. Willy faltered at this obstacle, which saw Edward opening up the gap to close in on fourth-placed Rahul.
As the bell sounded the final lap, Chong Qi and Thinesh charged forward, leaving the rest of the field in their dust. Thinesh had the lead at the water jump, but his wavering pace down the home straight encouraged Chong Qi to chase and eventually overtake him to snatch the gold with just a fraction of a second to spare.
“This is my first year doing the event, so I’m quite happy with today’s performance!” Chong Qi beamed.
“I was just trying to stay close to him, and when I realised he was still within striking distance, I just went for it. The cheering really spurred me on!” said Chong Qi, acknowleding his supporters.
Thinesh, on the other hand, expressed disappointment with this race. “I went into the race with high expectations. Ivan and I decided to pull away from the RI boys from the start so that we could stand a higher chance of winning.”
“Complacency overwhelmed me at the home straight, so I started slowing down. Today’s race really reinforces my coach’s saying: ‘The race isn’t over until you cross the finish line.'”
“Nevertheless, today shall be a learning point for me, and I will redeem myself next year in the A Division!” Thinesh said confidently.
B Boys 2,000m Steeplechase Results
1st Tan Chong Qi (Raffles Institution, #290) — 06:46.30
2nd Thineshwaran S/O Krishnakumar (Bendemeer Sec, #163) — 06:46.55
3rd Lee Zhen Yu, Edward (St Joseph’s Institution, #323) — 06:48.53
4th Dylan Tan Yong Jin (Hwa Chong Institution, #518) — 06:55.46
5th Rahul Jayaprabha (Raffles Institution, #286) — 06:57.70
6th Ivan Consuelo Hong (Bendemeer Sec, #158) — 07:06.90
7th Lim Wei Qian, Willy (Raffles Institution, #278) — 07:09.13
8th Muhammad Danial Lim B A A L T (Victoria Sch, #478) — 07:16.96
9th Leong Wei Jie Aloysius (St Joseph’s Institution, #324) — 07:17.94
10th Hedry Q Amani Bin Rizal Numeiry (Singapore Sports Sch, #99) — 07:18.51
11th Lua Jian Hong (Bendemeer Sec, #160) — 07:23.45
12th Choo Yong Jin Dominic (Victoria Sch, #461 ) — 07:30.23
13th Paxton Hong Kar Jun (St Joseph’s Institution, #334) — 07:35.32
14th Shamus Lim (Hwa Chong Institution, #546) — 07:35.61
15th Naini Avinash Reddy (Queensway Sec, #258) — 07:36.09
WDL Mandip Rai (Victoria Sch, #474)
For more photos, go to: Red Sports Images