Story by REDintern Fang Yiyang. Photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports
Kallang Practice Track, Saturday, January 12, 2019 — Qabeel Khan of Republic Polytechnic (RP) fended off Darren Tien of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) down the final straight to clinch the men’s 400-metres gold at the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Track and Field Championships, in his first event of the season.
Leading the race as he entered the final 100 metres, Qabeel, who turns 20 this year, had no time to ease off as NTU’s Darren Tien closed up on him.
However, Qabeel was ready for such a challenge.
He said: “The last 100m is very crucial for all 400m runners – either you want it or do not want it. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into it, so what happened today was a way for me to express my hard work.”
With a timing of 50.27 seconds, Qabeel also broke his personal best of 50.88s, set at the 2017 National Schools B Division final.
“For the first race of the season, I think it’s a pretty good exposure for me. It was a fantastic race,” Qabeel concluded.
While Qabeel still managed a 0.43s victory margin, the women’s race turned out to be even closer with the first and second-placed runners only a tenth of a second apart.
Celeste Goh of the National University of Singapore (NUS), leading in the final 100m, faced a late surge by Charmaine Goh of the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Realising the challenge with 40 metres to go, she pushed on despite the lactic building up in her legs.
“My legs just couldn’t move,” Celeste explained. At her physical limit already, she could only rely on her mind to pull her through the final stretch of the race.
“I was like, it’s just 30 metres more, just go all the way. In the last 10 metres I saw her coming closer and I knew it was going to be neck-and-neck already, so I just dipped at the line,” she said.
Winning by a hair’s breadth, Celeste was not even sure she had won the race. Celeste stopped the clock at 1 minute 3.28 seconds, while Charmaine finished in 1:03.38s.
The intensity of the final sprint was such that both Celeste and Charmaine lay on the grass patch beside the finish line for several minutes after the race.
Celeste, who turns 20 this year, felt her race could have gone better as she was feeling tired the whole day. Her personal best in the event is 1:00.82 seconds, set when she won the 2015 National Schools B Division silver.
For Charmaine, the result of her maiden IVP outing was still something to be happy about. Not only did she clinch a silver medal, she also improved on her previous personal best of 1:03.55.
However, celebrations would have to wait as Charmaine will need to prepare for the 800m next Saturday, January 19.
On the same day, Celeste will be competing in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay.
IVP Men’s 400m Results
1st Qabeel Khan (#264, Republic Polytechnic) — 50.27 seconds
2nd Darren Tien (#124, Nanyang Technological University) — 50.70
3rd Shawn Lee (#293, Singapore Institute of Management) — 51.34
4th Russell Kam (#170, National University of Singapore) — 52.38
5th Jonathan Andrew (#430, Temasek Polytechnic) — 53.32
6th Jonathan Lai (#174, National University of Singapore) — 53.98
7th Ian Matthew Ngui (#59, Nanyang Polytechnic) — 55.13
8th Koo Kai Siang (#108, Nanyang Technological University) — 58.29
IVP Women’s 400m Results
1st Celeste Goh (#136, National University of Singapore) — 1:03.28
2nd Charmaine Goh (#1, Institute of Technical Education) — 1:03.38
3rd Cindy Enn (#12, Nanyang Polytechnic) — 1:04.96
4th Kathleen Lin (#143, National University of Singapore) — 1:07.42
5th Grace Ng (#81, Nanyang Technological University) — 1:08.59
6th Alanis Moey Shi Qi (#423, Temasek Polytechnic) — 1:09.40
7th Kang Pei Ling (#278, Singapore Institute of Management) — 1:10.47
8th Tor Jia Wen (#429, Temasek Polytechnic) — 1:12.38
More photos next page