By REDintern Lim Yu-Han

a div boys 1500m final

Benjamin Tang (#264, right) of HCI just manages to edge out Heng Yu Jie (#129, left) of RI by 0.01s to win the A Div 1,500m gold in 4:27.67. Justin John Surin (#132, behind) was third in 4:28.92. (Photo © Les Tan/Red Sports)


vision 2030 live better through sports

Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Wednesday, April 17, 2013 — Benjamin Tang of Hwa Chong Institution won the A Division 1,500m final by the slimmest of margins at the 54th National Schools Track and Field Championships. He clocked 4 minutes 27.67 seconds, just 0.01 seconds ahead of Heng Yu Jie of Raffles Institution (04:27.68). Justin John Surin, also of RI, came in third with a time of 4:28.92. This win meant a double gold haul for Benjamin in his last year, after he won the 800m gold previously.

Favourites Heng Yu Jie and Justin John Surin from Raffles Institution were leading the group from the start, with Ariff Izzudin and Jeremy Lim of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) tagging closely behind.

It was only in the third round did Benjamin Tang of HCI move up from 14th to fourth position, filling the gap between the leaders and the pack. The sounding of the bell for the final lap saw Yu Jie and Benjamin neck-and-neck, tightly pacing each other.

Justin stepped up his pace with a fast stride round the bend, trying hard to drop Yu Jie and Benjamin. To his surprise, they responded with an intense surge that left him trailing. The crowd went hysterical as it was impossible to tell if yellow or green would cross the line first, with both runners blazing down the final stretch to fnish together.

Unable to tell who won, all eyes were fixated on the small digital scoreboard that flashed the positions, names and timings of competitors.

When it finally showed “1 Benjamin Tang”, the HCI crowd erupted as Benjamin had pipped Yu Jie to the line by a mere 0.01s in 4:27.67.

Benjamin said: “I was expecting a close fight with Heng Yu Jie of RI. I felt that it was going to be another tactical race.”

As to how he made critical decisions and strategised his race, Benjamin said: “At the start of the race, I decided to start from the back of the pack, so I could observe the race and decide which strategy to adopt.”

“After the first round, it was clear that it was going to be a slow race, so I gradually started to catch up with the leading pack and get into position for the final surge. At the last 200m, I overtook Yu Jie and sprinted all the way to the finish. It was a close fight, and I only managed to beat him by a mere 0.01 seconds.”

On the final surge, RI’s Yu Jie commented: “Benjamin overtook me and I tried to hold on to him, believing that I could take him on. The pace continued to accelerate. I closed up on him little by little but missed the gold medal by 0.01 seconds still.”

A Boys 800m Results
1st Benjamin Tang Hao Zhe (Hwa Chong Institution, #264) — 04:27.67
2nd Heng Yu Jie (Raffles Institution, #129) — 04:27.68
3rd Justin John Surin (Raffles Institution, #132) — 04:28.92
4th Ariff Izzudin B Mohamad G (Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), #53) — 04:30.24
5th Tang Chung Theng (Victoria Junior College, #228) — 04:33.15
6th Tan Jian Da (Anglo-Chinese Junior College, #255) — 04:33.67
7th Andrew Tay Wei Quan (Anglo-Chinese Junior College, #234) — 04:33.86
8th Tan Yu Chuan (Hwa Chong Institution, #292) — 04:34.75
9th Cui Chang (Hwa Chong Institution, #268) — 04:35.27
10th Ryan Michael Tan Zhi Xian (Victoria Junior College, #224) — 04:35.57
11th Jeremy Lim Tze En (Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), #61) — 04:37.04
12th Joshua Nga Xing Hao (Raffles Institution, #131) — 04:39.69
13th Marc Amiruddin Nabill Bin Abdul Malek (Millenia Institute, #301) — 04:40.72
14th Tan Wen Da (National Junior College, #114) — 04:42.19
15th Tan Teck Chye (NUSHS, #306) — 04:53.63
16th Abdul Tsaqif Bin Abdul Rahman F (Anglo-Chinese Junior College, #230) — 05:09.79

Video © SAA. Used with permission.

For more photos, go to: Red Sports Images