Story and photo by Clement Tan/Red Sport. Additional reporting by Erwin Wong.
Hwa Chong Institution, Wednesday, April 19, 2017 — When Hwa Chong Institution’s Justyn Phoa lined up to take his fourth throw in the A boys’ javelin competition, he was trailing junior teammate Wang Tingjia in second. A few minutes later, he not only bettered Tingjia’s best throw, but also a national schools and championship record that has stood since 1970.
Justyn threw 59.06m, which improved on the 58.08m set by Kok Wai Leong, then of Raffles Institution. Tingjia — who set a new B Division record last year with 56.90m — won the silver this time with 56.65m and RI’s Tan Yi Ren claimed the bronze medal with 52.22m. This was also Justyn’s first-ever national schools gold medal after a silver last year in the A Division and a bronze in the B Division before that.
“Tingjia and I were both going for the record this time round,” said Justyn. “When the javelin left my grip, I knew it would be a good throw. I just didn’t know how good it would be.”
In an Instagram video story posted on the Hwa Chong track and field team’s account, Justyn’s schoolmates could be seen and heard going berserk after his record-breaking throw. Justyn’s two elder sisters Lenis and Genis, who also represented Hwa Chong in their time, split several javelin divisional titles between them.
“They definitely helped me, but more with the competition strategy aspect of things,” said Justyn. His sisters are currently studying physiotherapy in Dublin and Perth, but he made sure to contact them after his record-breaking feat. Boys in the A and B Divisions compete with a 700g javelin, compared to the 600g boys use in the C Division.
“We whatsapped and skyped after that for sure,” said Justyn’s mother, Teo Mui Hua, who witnessed her son’s history-making effort. “I knew he probably won with that throw, but I didn’t realize he broke the record until much later.”
RI swept the other boys titles this year. Roy Ng posted 51.61m to beat Rohan Verma of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Ho Yan Jie of Catholic High School into second and third, respectively, in the C Division. Kynaston Wee claimed the B Division crown with 51.10m.
“It’s a big surprise since this is my first year in the B Division, but I guess this is what happens when you’ve got nothing to lose,” Kynaston said. In claiming a new personal best though, he overextended his right knee and anticipates recovery to take about a month or so.
A Division Boys Javelin, Top Eight
1st Justyn Phoa (#266 Hwa Chong Institution) 59.06m NR-N
2nd Wang Tingjia (#289 Hwa Chong Institution) 56.65m
3rd Tan Yi Ren (#157 Raffles Institution) 52.22m
4th Jerome Wong (#136 Raffles Institution) 47.31m
5th Zachary Chu (#258 Hwa Chong Institution) 47.27m
6th Keith Chua (#141 Raffles Institution) 44.81m
7th Bryan Yang (#235 Victoria Junior College) 40.65m
8th Frankel Lin (#216 Victoria Junior College) 39.78m
B Division Boys Javelin, Top Eight
1st Kynaston Wee (#266 Raffles Institution) 51.10m
2nd Hur Young Gwan (#468 Victoria School) 50.27m
3rd Ryan Teo (#554 Hwa Chong Institution) 48.64m
4th Joel Low (#272 Raffles Institution) 45.81m
5th Charles Wang (#55 Catholic High School) 45.75m
6th Brian Cheng (#460 Victoria School) 43.70m
7th Ethan Leung (#465 Victoria School) 42.86m
8th T Naveen Prasath (#329 St Joseph’s Institution) 41.80m
C Division Boys Javelin, Top Eight
1st Roy Ng (#253 Raffles Institution) 51.61m
2nd Rohan Verma (#174 Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) 39.60m
3rd Ho Yan Jie (#44 Catholic High School) 39.39m
4th Fan Qing Yu (#468 Hwa Chong Institution) 37.92m
5th Jared Lim (#471 Hwa Chong Institution) 37.78m
6th Chai Yi Khuen (#405 Victoria School) 32.97m
7th Daniel Lock (#154 Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) 32.63m
8th Lucas Wong (#437 Victoria School) 30.92m