Story and photos by Stefanus Ian/Red Sports
Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Friday, March 8, 2019 — Raffles Institution (RI) got off to a strong start in the B Division boys’ championship with a 1-2 finish in the high jump event through Mingwen Lee Sullivan (#302) and Benjamin Seah (#275), who recorded 1.85m and 1.78m respectively.
Hwa Chong Institution’s Josiah Tan rounded off the podium with a 1.76m jump to clinch the bronze medal.
For the Raffles duo, the win was a surprise for them as Benjamin said that they were inconsistent during training. Mingwen, who was calm and poised throughout the competition, said he was solely focused on his jump.
“I honestly wasn’t thinking about the results. I was just trying to do my best and just focus on the technical parts of my approach and my jump,” said the 16-year-old, who has a personal best of 1.88m.
“Today was fine, and I guess I was close to my PB, but I guess I wasn’t on top form today. Yeah, my run-up was a bit off at the start as well, so that kind of threw me off.”
It was clear that RI was going to take the title towards the later stages of the competition as the raising of the bar slowly whittled down the number of competitors. The victory was sealed when the bar was set at 1.78 metres. As the other jumpers struggled to arch their bodies and clear the bar, Mingwen coolly cleared the height and did not even break into a smile.
Benjamin, on the other hand, said he was getting “panicky”.
“For the 1.78 jump, I was super panicky for the last jump, I really just blanked out my mind,” said Benjamin, 16, who pumped both his fists after clearing the height. But that was to be the last of his successful jumps as he failed to clear the 1.82m.
“For the 1.82 jump, that one where I think I whacked the bar onto my shin, yeah that’s kind of painful,” said Benjamin with a chuckle.
Benjamin, who has a personal best of 1.80m, would eventually bow out at the 1.82m mark, hitting the bar once again with his head during his take off.
Mingwen, however, kept his cool and continued clearing the height and was the only jumper to attempt 1.85m. After two attempts, Mingwen was able to get his arched back over without his lower body hitting the bar and that’s when he finally pumped his fists and smiled.
With his PB within touching distance, Mingwen said he felt it made more sense to try and better his PB rather than equal it and so he raised the bar to 1.90m.
“I realized that there was no point really if I wanted to equal it. I mean, I already cleared it in the previous (series) competition,” said Mingwen.
“So I thought, you know what, if I wanted to try and beat my PB, I might as well go for one nine zero, but yeah, I guess things just didn’t work out.”
Mingwen, eventually, was unable to take off for any of his jumps to attempt 1.90m and would have to break his PB another day.
Mingwen is looking forward to competing in the Singapore Open at the end of the month while Benjamin is setting his eyes on the National Juniors competition later on in the year.
B Division Boys’ High Jump – Top 8
1st Mingwen Lee Sullivan (#302, Raffles Institution) — 1.85 metres
2nd Benjamin Seah Wen Zhe (#275, Raffles Institution) — 1.78
3rd Josiah Tan Zheng Kang (#557, Hwa Chong Institution) — 1.76
4th Tan Shaun Wen, Jonathan (#212, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 1.76
4th Abel Lee Bing Heng (#542, Hwa Chong Institution) — 1.76
6th Lai [email protected] (#140, Singapore Sports School) — 1.73
7th Wang Lingjun (#585, Hwa Chong Institution) — 1.70
8th Gideon Micah Peters (#485, Victoria School) — 1.70
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