Story and photos by Iman Hashim/Red Sports
Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Friday, March 8, 2019 — Traditional powerhouses Cedar Girls’ Secondary and Nanyang Girls’ High School (NYGH) began their title charge for the overall B Division girls’ championship on the front foot with Cedar’s Daakshayani Negi and Ann Lee of NYGH winning the javelin and triple jump respectively at the 60th National Schools Track and Field Championships.
Daakshayani’s winning throw of 34.70 metres saw her place ahead of NYGH duo Jaydene Phua (33.42m) and Adele Ling (30.37m), while Cedar teammate Ra Yeojin came in fourth with 29.06m.
However, Daakshayani — who set the C Division girls’ javelin record of 33.29m last year — said she was not confident of gold prior to the competition.
“I don’t think anyone is ever confident about competing, because competition stress can make you throw real bad,” said the Secondary 3 student. “My aim wasn’t to beat others or anything, I just wanted to remain calm and try my best. I didn’t really go into the competition with any expectations besides hoping to do my best.”
“I’m glad I got 34 (metres), but at the same time, I’m kind of disappointed because my aim was to get 36. I feel that I could have done way better, but I am proud of myself for improving compared to my last Nationals.”
Looking ahead to next year’s competition, Daakshayani has her eyes set on breaking the B Division record of 36.67m, which is held by NYGH alumna Evian Chua since 2016.
While Jaydene Phua and Adele Ling missed out on being top of the javelin podium, their NYGH teammate Ann Lee easily beat out her competition in the B Division girls’ triple jump with a winning leap of 11.46m.
Ann’s result meant that she improved on her sixth placing from last year’s edition, and at the same time dethroned defending champion Mabel Leow of Cedar Girls’.
Mabel posted 10.79m to come in second, while Chung Ning Xin of CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School placed third with 10.58m.
Said Ann of her performance: “I’m quite proud of myself, because I trained really hard for it. Even though the result wasn’t what I actually expected, but never mind, I can do it next year.”
The Secondary 4 student improved on her previous legal-wind personal best of 11.42m set at last month’s Singapore Athletics (SA) Schools Episode 3, where she had also recorded a 4.0m/s wind-aided jump of 11.69m.
Coming into the National Schools championships, Ann admitted she felt some weight of her expectations — she was the clear favourite after consistently hitting the 11-metre mark in five meets this season.
“I had some expectations for myself, so I guess I was a little bit stressed,” she said. “I expected myself to achieve 11 plus (metres), and maintain at 11.”
“The competitions that we had before Nationals, I think it really helped me to improve myself and improve on my mistakes.”
On her goals in the triple jump, Ann said she hopes to hit 12 metres in the near future and eventually break the national record.
The national under-17, under-18 and under-20 marks held by Lynette Lim stand at 11.79m, 11.89m and 11.94m respectively, while Wendy Enn’s women’s open record is 12.05m.
Daakshayani’s and Ann’s victories in the javelin and triple jump set a precedent for the continuous rivalry between the girls of Cedar and Nanyang in the overall B Division standings.
Cedar had won three straight titles from 2015 to 2017, while NYGH clinched the championship last year.
Daakshayani is hopeful Cedar can wrestle the title back this year, and was glad she could contribute.
“Cedar is always striving for the best, so I feel that each and every one of my Cedarians who went to compete in the javelin, they tried their best,” she said. “I feel that to a certain extent, everyone who competes for Nationals has to contribute in a certain way, and I’m just really happy that I contributed to Cedar by getting first; I mean there are a lot of good athletes here.”
B Division Girls’ Javelin – Top 8
1st Daakshayani Negi (#878, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 34.70 metres
2nd Jaydene Phua Kia Ern (#1047, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 33.42
3rd Adele Ling Yan Ying (#1022, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 30.37
4th Ra Yeojin (#897, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 29.06
5th Goh Yi Xian (#701, Nan Chiau High School) — 25.96
6th Rachel Yeo Kai Ting (#674, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School) — 25.30
7th Ashley Lui Ching Lynn (#660, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School) — 24.72
8th Catherine Tan Siew Hwa (#661, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School) — 23.82
B Division Girls’ Triple Jump – Top 8
1st Ann Lee Shyann Wai (#1025, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 11.46 metres
2nd Mabel Leow Zitong (#889, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 10.79
3rd Chung Ning Xin (#664, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School) — 10.58
4th Faith Yeong Rui Min (#750, CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh)) — 10.50
5th Du Mei Qian @ Du Kaixuan (#1037, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 10.29
6th Vean Lim Eu Sun (#735, Singapore Sports School) — 10.28
7th Jurnus Tan Jin Jye (#901, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 10.22
8th Rena Edward (#675, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School) — 10.06
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