Story by Rebecca Yip/Red Sports. Photos by Lim Yong Teck and Soh Jun Wei/Red Sports.

SEA Games Athletics

Dipna Lim-Prasad clears a hurdle during the women’s 400m hurdles final. She clinched the silver medal in 59.24 seconds. (Photo 1 © Lim Yong Teck/Red Sports)

National Stadium, Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — Dipna Lim-Prasad was seeking to improve her personal best coming into the women’s 400m hurdles and she did just so.

She finished the race with a personal best timing of 59.24 seconds, behind Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Huyen, who came in three seconds ahead of Dipna at 56.15 seconds to win gold and set a new Games Record. Defending champion, Thailand’s Wassana Winatho, finished third with a time of 1:01.69.

Dipna and Wassana were a close second and third for most of the race until the last 100m, when Dipna pulled ahead after the second last hurdle to beat Wassana for the silver.

Said Dipna of her race in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, “I have been injured for two and a half months, so (in that time) I have only hurdled six times, including this race. Naturally, that is something not very good coming into such a major meet and my preparation wasn’t ideal, but this is once in a lifetime running on home ground in the National Stadium, so I just gave it my all and I’m glad it paid off.”

Setting her sights on bigger things for the next Games, Dipna said, “I have been hoping to improve my podium finish from the previous SEA Games (where Dipna got a bronze), so I am just very happy and I was happily joking with (Singapore Athletic Association President Tang Weng Fei) that maybe the next SEA Games, it will be a gold.”

Dipna improved on her national record of 59.59s clocked at the Taiwan Open on May 16 earlier this year.

Making their SEA Games debut in the 400m hurdles were Ng Jia Yi, Raymond Lee and Ow Yeong Yu Xiang. Jia Yi placed fourth in the women’s 400m hurdles, while Raymond and Yu Xiang registered substantial personal bests to place eighth and ninth respectively in the men’s 400m hurdles.

Raymond, who clocked a time of 54.00s to improve on his PB by 0.67s, said of his debut, “I came into this as fuel for the fire. It’s really an honour to run with the region’s best and I’m looking to prepare myself better so I’ll be in medal contention for the next Games.”

Yu Xiang’s time of 54.09s bettered his previous best of 54.56s. Speaking after his race, Yu Xiang said, “The first 200m were good. In the last 100m, I could feel the support of my friends and family. I think overall, it was a good run.”

Women’s 400m Hurdles Final Results
1st Nguyen Thi Huyen (Vietnam) – 56.15s (Games Record)
2nd Dipna Lim-Prasad (Singapore) – 59.24s (National Record)
3rd Wassana Winatho (Thailand) – 1:01.69
4th Ng Jia Yi (Singapore) – 1:09.12

Men’s 400m Hurdles Final Results
1st Eric Shauwn Cray (Philippines) – 49.40s (Games Record)
2nd Quach Cong Lich (Vietnam) – 50.29s
3rd Andrian Andrian (Indonesia) – 51.36s
4th Dao Xuan Cuong (Vietnam) – 51.78s
5th Witthawat Thumcha (Thailand) – 51.88s
6th Junrey Bano (Philippines) – 53.07s
7th Anan Wongsawang (Thailand) – 53.30s
8th Raymond Scott Lee (Singapore) – 54.00s
9th Ow Yeong Yu Xiang (Singapore) – 54.09s

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