Story by REDintern Alyssa Almas. Photos by REDintern Jared Khoo and Iman Hashim/Red Sports.
Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Friday, March 15, 2019 — CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School’s Laura Wong retained the gold medal in the C Division Girls’ 400 metres final, never relinquishing her lead throughout, at the 60th National Schools Track and Field Championships.
It was a race that Laura controlled from start to finish, having taken the lead at the start of the run and coming round the bend first each time. Crossing the line in a time of 1 minute 3.36 seconds, Laura shaved a few tenths of a second off her personal best, a timing of 1:03.71 achieved at last year’s C Division final which she also won.
When asked about her motivation going into the race, Laura replied: “I just wanted to finish the race and make my coach proud. I did not want to let anyone down because everyone had high hopes for me.”
Holding on to her lead until the end, Laura crossed the finish line over a second ahead of silver medalist Ho Zhi Ling of Nanyang Girls’ High School, who clocked 1:04.57.
Smiling, the soft-spoken Secondary 2 student shared: “Personally it was quite a surprise for me, because I did not feel like I would have done so well.”
Laura then went on to share her reflections on what went wrong during her race, knowing that she had room to improve on despite outdoing her personal best.
“I think I could have done better, especially at the last part. My strides got obviously smaller, but I think that overall from heats to semis I definitely improved,” she said, analysing her progress throughout the competition.
Speaking about her fellow competitors, Laura said: “I definitely felt like my competitors gave me a good race today — my coach actually told me that the person who came in second (Zhi Ling) was chasing after me. It was scary because during the race I didn’t know it was happening.”
Adding on quickly with a smile, she chirped: “I would definitely like to thank my coach, my parents, the teachers and of course my competitors because they all cheered me on.”
With this win in tow, Laura looks to repeat her efforts in the C Division girls’ 200m final on the 25th of March, of which she has qualified third-fastest from the semi-finals.
C Division Girls’ 400m Results
1st Laura Wong Si Teng (CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School, #553) — 1:03.36
2nd Ho Zhi Ling (Nanyang Girls’ High School, #681) — 1:04.57
3rd Kirsten May Leong (Crescent Girls’ School, #373) — 1:04.82
4th Sallit Olivia (Singapore Sports School, #608) — 1:05.15
5th Mathilda Soh Xuanya (Cedar Girls’ Secondary, #782) — 1:05.27
6th Genevieve Lum Yan You (CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School, #547) — 1:05.41
7th Esther Tay Shee Wei (Nanyang Girls’ High School, #922) — 1:06.05
8th Chu Jo Lin (Temasek Secondary School, #873) — 1:07.72
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