Story and Photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports
Toa Payoh Stadium, Saturday, July 22, 2017 — North Vista Secondary School dominated the second edition of the Singapore Youth Olympic Festival (SYOF) athletics competition, clinching the gold medal for four races.
Similar to last year’s inaugural meet, there were four events — the 4x100m, 4x200m, 1000m Sprint Medley and Distance Medley relays — for two categories of runners: under-15 and under-19.
North Vista’s runners swept the boys’ 4x100m and 4x200m relay in the under-19 category, the boys’ 4x200m relay in the under-15 category and the girls’ Distance Medley in the under-19 category.
Singapore Sports School (SSP) were unable to maintain last year’s dominance, when they won every event they took part in, but they still came out top with the gold medals in three races: the Girls’ 4×200 Meter Relay and 1000 Sprint Medley in the under-15 category and the Girls’ Distance Medley in the under-19 category.
For some of the runners in the SSP under-15 team, the SYOF athletics meet was an opportunity to clock in some of their first races donning SSP’s colours. It was also an opportunity to test themselves against some of their older competitors.
For SSP’s Muhammad Hariz, it was one of his first few races with SSP and he was gutted at the end of his 4x100m under-15 relay race when they lost out to Raffles Institution’s ‘D’ team. After crossing the finishing line, he knelt and buried his face in the ground before pounding the track in frustration.
After the race, the 13-year-old runner said he was disappointed in himself saying that he “let down his team”.
“I let down my team because I started late,” said Hariz.
“I was supposed to finish strong but I think I slowed down at the last part, then I was a bit angry,” said Hariz before adding that his start also left much to be desired.
But Hariz said his teammates were quick to console him after the race.
“They said, ‘It’s okay at least we get a medal’,” he said, adding that he cooled down after that.
Started in 2011, the Singapore Youth Olympic Festival serves as a continuation of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games that was held in Singapore in 2010. This year’s festival is the seventh edition and will feature 12 sports – badminton, 3×3 and 5×5 basketball, cycling, fencing, football 5s, rugby 7s, sailing, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo and beach and indoor volleyball.
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