Story by REDintern Jessica Soo. Photos by Iman Hashim/Red Sports.
Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Wednesday, March 13, 2019 — When Joel Low of Raffles Institution (RI) stopped in his tracks to pull out from a throw, there was laughter from the stands but for him, it was merely a distraction.
“I didn’t care about the crowd that was clapping. In my perspective, it was me and the throw,” Joel said.
It is this complete focus on his performance that made him stop short on the runway a couple of times when he felt that it was going to be a bad throw. Despite the reactions from the stands, he remained confident with every throw and that was how he managed to secure the gold medal — an achievement the 18-year-old has never done before in his six years of competing.
With a winning throw of 56.52 metres, Joel clinched the gold medal in the A Division boys’ javelin event. The distance was a personal best and recorded on his fifth attempt, overcoming his previous best of 54.18m during the Singapore Athletics Schools Episode 2 in January this year.
“I am very happy with (the win),” said the RI Year 6 student.
“It was the first gold medal for me in all my six years of track. I have always been in second place, and after all that effort that I put in, I am really really happy,” he said.
“What really pushed me through were my coaches, friends and my teammates, who make training something I look forward to every day. It really is super heartening, and I feel so much right now,” Joel added with a laugh.
And it seemed that both gold and silver medalists shared the same sentiments.
Both competitor and teammate, Xavier Emmanuel Leung of RI made the team proud by finishing second for the first time in four years. Similar to Joel, it was the support of teammates and coaches that drove him to train hard.
“Their support is crucial as they drive you to train hard not only for yourself, but the team,” Xavier said.
Xavier broke his personal best with a best throw of 52.01m, a vast improvement from his previous best distance of 47.95m during the Schools Episode 1.
Finishing third and fourth were Ethan Leung (46.43m) of Victoria Junior College and Walden Sun (44.63m) of RI.
While Ethan’s bronze medal effort prevented a top three podium sweep by RI, the Raffles boys nevertheless remained optimistic, with Xavier mentioning: “Before the competitions, we have always been dreaming of getting a podium sweep and I think we are quite close to it.”
A Division Boys’ Javelin – Results
1st Joel Low Ming Herng (#121, Raffles Institution) — 56.52 metres
2nd Xavier Emmanuel Leung (#142, Raffles Institution ) — 52.01
3rd Ethan Jin-Jie Leung (#187, Victoria Junior College) — 46.43
4th Walden Sun Shao Yao (#132, Raffles Institution) — 44.63
5th Hur Young Gwan (#189, Victoria Junior College) — 42.52
6th Kynaston Wee Yu Qi (#246, Hwa Chong Institution) — 41.47
7th Ryan Loh Jun Kai (#262, Hwa Chong Institution) — 41.10
8th Jarell Wong Ee Png (#55, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 37.81
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