Story by Lim Yong Teck/Red Sports. Photos by Lim Yong Teck and Lee Yu En/Red Sports.
Bishan Stadium, Saturday, January 13, 2018 — National hurdler Kerstin Ong stood tall and finished strong in the opening day of the 2018 Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) track and field competition, winning the women’s 100 meter hurdles crown, spurred on by the outpouring of support from her peers.
“This (victory) makes me feel a lot more confident and focus on my execution rather than the results, because I’ve always been very results-driven, and now I can stay objective,” said the 20-year-old, who won in 15.8 seconds (hand-timed).
This race also marked the first time that Ong raced against her alma mater, Republic Polytechnic (RP), since starting school at Singapore Management University (SMU).
Ong said: “It’s quite a funny feeling, because last time I’m wearing their shirt, I’m running for another school now.
“Regardless, I’m always really happy to run for my school, no matter who I represent.”
Nanyang Polytechnic’s (NYP) Sasha Harini Raj and Hannah Esther Tan completed the podium with timings of 16.4s and 16.6s respectively, while former RP team-mate Melody Chiam finished sixth in 20.4s.
While the persistent rainy weather was not optimal for competition, the first meet of the local athletics calendar carried on successfully.
The men’s discus throw title went to Julien Rapet of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), who topped the field with a throw distance of 43.14m. Rapet was the only athlete to register a throw distance of more than 40 meters.
Daniel Lim of NYP was the men’s javelin throw victor with a throw distance of 53.38m. RP’s Melissa Yee completed the day’s throw events with a 12.48m throw in the women’s shot put. Yee was the only competitor with a throw beyond 10m. Both recorded personal bests.
For the jump events, national high jumper Valerie Cheong claimed her throne at the women’s high jump event, clearing a height of 1.50m on her first attempt. Ang Wei Lu of Singapore Polytechnic (SP) recorded a jump distance of 11.64m to clinch the women’s triple jump title, while National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Joseph Zhao took home the men’s title with a 14.01m jump.
The sprint events were highlighted by the usual suspects. Local sprint queen Shanti Pereira topped the women’s 100m with 12.01 seconds, while NTU’s Khairyll Amri won the men’s with 11.05s. Shanti, who won a South-east Asian Games bronze medal in this event last August, broke her own championship record by a hundredth of a second.
In the 400m event, Raymond Lee of NUS and Nur Hamizah of Temasek Polytechnic (TP) topped the field with 50.63s and 1:04.24 respectively.
Ong’s national hurdle team-mate Ang Chen Xiang clinched the men’s 110m, coming in at 14.49s.
NUS rounded up the day by sweeping the top spots in the long distance events. Jeevaneesh S/O Soundararajah proved too good for the field and took home the 5000m crown in 15:32.59, while Vanessa Lee dominated the women’s 1500m in a new PB of 5:03.01.
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