Story by Iman Hashim/Red Sports. Photos by Cheah Wenqi and Jerald Ang/Red Sports.

Anchor runner Tanisha Moghe (#130) of Raffles Institution finishes the race, earning them the gold medal with a timing of 49.60s. (Photo 1 © Jerald Ang/Red Sports)

National Stadium, Friday, April 28, 2017 — Since National Junior College’s four-year gold-winning streak from 2003 to 2006, dominance in the A Division girls’ 4 by 100 metres relay has been equally shared between Raffles and Hwa Chong – with five golds each – for the following decade.

At the 58th National Schools Track and Field Championships, the girls from Raffles Institution (RI) retained the gold they won last year to edge the competition – it is their sixth win in the last 11 years.

That said, RI’s closest rivals this time round were in fact the girls from Singapore Sports School (SSP), who were taking part in the A girls’ relays for the first time.

RI finished in 49.60 seconds, with SSP second in 50.03s. The Hwa Chong Institution quartet came in third in 51.24s.

“We knew that it was going to be very tough against Sports School,” said RI anchor runner Tanisha Moghe, who had earlier won the 100m final. “But we all had the goal of going sub-50s. So we all just had that goal in mind, and we just did what we could.”

The RI quartet consisted of Tanisha – who had also won silver in the 200m, Amirah Aljunied (bronze medallist in both 100m and 200m), Nicole Hu (finalist in both events), and Clenyce Tan (third in 100m hurdles; second in 400m hurdles).

Clenyce, who ran the first leg, echoed Tanisha’s sentiments.

“From the start we knew that Sports School was going to be a very strong opponent,” she said. “But we decided that we would just do our best and see what it brings. We knew that we had potential as a team – we just wanted to go as far as we could.”

The SSP relay quartet was formed from a team of only five girls in the A Division – yet they boast a total of five individual gold medals and two championship records between them this year.

Anchor runner Ismi Zakiah, who is the 200m champion, rued their less-than-smooth baton changeovers during the race.

She said, “Most probably (the changeovers) could have been better, and we could have achieved a better timing. Maybe we could even have ended up slightly closer to Raffles, and give them a good fight.”

However, Ismi insisted that the result already exceeded her team’s expectations.

“We were actually aiming just for the final,” she said. “That’s because we don’t even train (for relays) that much – we only trained twice together for this season. So we didn’t expect a lot but we were thinking that if we tried harder, and just kept going, most probably we could end up on the podium, and in the end we did it – at least we got second.”

Similarly, Clenyce bemoaned her team’s imperfect baton changeovers which denied RI a shot at the championship record.

“On hindsight, we reflected that if (the changeovers) had gone well, perhaps we might have broken the record. But it’s okay, because we are still satisfied with our performance. We’re happy with the way it turned out,” said the RI track and field team captain.

RI’s winning time fell 0.2 seconds short of the 49.40s A Division girls’ record, set by National Junior College in 2005.

Asked if she has any other regrets for the season, Clenyce said, “Not really. I think personally I ended it off quite well. I think the team did well, given the small team size, the lack of field events (participants), lack in strength. I think we did the best we could, and this is the result we got, so we have to be content with it, and look forward to a better season next year.”

RI ended the season third in the overall A girls’ divisional rankings, behind HCI and Victoria Junior College.

A Division Girls 4x100m Relay – Top 8
1st Raffles Institution – 49.60 seconds
2nd Singapore Sports School – 50.03
3rd Hwa Chong Institution – 51.24
4th National Junior College – 51.55
5th Victoria Junior College – 52.04
6th Anglo-Chinese Junior College – 52.74
7th Dunman High School – 53.84
8th Catholic Junior College – 54.27

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