Story and photos by Iman Hashim/Red Sports
Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Monday, March 11, 2019 — On the same day that athletes from Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) emerged victorious in the B Division boys’ long jump and A Division girls’ high jump, Matthew Lee of Raffles Institution (RI) prevented a top three HCI podium sweep in the A Division boys’ shot put when he won gold with the furthest throw of 16.66 metres.
He finished ahead of HCI duo Kynaston Wee (16.08m) and Murali Sham Kumar (14.93m), while RI’s Tim Ong posted 13.66m to sneak into the top four ahead of HCI’s Mook He Jun (13.22m).
And impressively, Matthew did so even whilst nursing a finger sprain sustained during training.
“I felt a bit disappointed, because last weekend I threw 17 (metres),” said the fifth-year RI student of his performance. “But there’s not much I could do because my finger is injured. Overall, still satisfied I would say — I was hoping to still get first because my finger is injured, and in training I wasn’t doing too well.”
Both Matthew and Kynaston had just returned from the Southeast Asian (SEA) Youth Athletics Championships in Ilagan, Philippines, where Matthew won bronze in a new personal best of 17.01m while Kynaston placed fourth with an exact same distance of 16.08m.
On winning his first gold in the A Division, Matthew said he was confident going into the competition.
“I knew my only competition was Kynaston,” he joked, stealing a playful look at his former RI teammate who had switched over to HCI colours this year. “During all the Series (meets), all the previous results, I could see the distance would be okay, I just had to fight with him.”
Matthew’s gold extends his shot put winning streak at the annual National Schools championships to five years, adding to his two-time victories in the C Division and B Division respectively from 2015 to 2018.
And just stretching it to six next year is not enough, according to him.
“I want to challenge the A Div record next year,” he said. “The record is (17.68m), so in one year hopefully I will be closer.”
A Division Boys’ Shot Put – Top 8
1st Matthew Lee Jun Long (#117, Raffles Institution) — 16.66 metres
2nd Kynaston Wee Yu Qi (#246, Hwa Chong Institution) — 16.08
3rd Murali Sham Kumar Shanjie (#255, Hwa Chong Institution) — 14.93
4th Tim Ong Kai Sheng (#137, Raffles Institution) — 13.66
5th Mook He Jun (#254, Hwa Chong Institution) — 13.22
6th Thierry Ong Jingkai (#68, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 12.66
7th Dominic Ming Yi Foo (#73, Anglo-Chinese School (International)) — 11.52
8th Nathan Wong Kar Wai (#220, Anglo-Chinese Junior College) — 10.91
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