Story by REDintern Jessica Soo. Photos by REDintern Jared Khoo and Iman Hashim/Red Sports.

Mervyn Ong Shao Xuan of NHHS (in red and blue) placed first in the 1500m C Division Boys' Finals.

Mervyn Ong (#480) of Nan Hua High School placed first in the C Division Boys’ 1500m final. (Photo 1 © REDintern Jared Khoo)

Choa Chu Kang Stadium, Friday, March 15, 2019 — Mervyn Ong of Nan Hua High School burst past his competitors during the final lap at the 60th National Schools Track and Field Championships to sustain a definite lead and secure the C Division Boys’ 1500 metres title.

Mervyn stopped the clock at 4 minutes and 38.59 seconds, just a few strides ahead of Elliot Wong of St. Joseph’s Institution, who finished with a best time of 4:41.06.

The Nan Hua High School Secondary 2 student also managed to secure a new personal best, which was previously set at 4:51.47 at the Singapore Athletics Schools Episode 3 in February this year.

When asked about what motivated him to push for the gold, Mervyn explained simply that hunger was the crucial factor to his performance: “I just wanted to win, it has been what I was looking forward to the entire year.”

Even though Mervyn ended the race with a definite lead, he stayed with the pack during the first few rounds. The lead was taken instead by Catholic High’s He Jiurui and Ethan Thai who powered through the race.

During the last lap, Mervyn’s hunger could be felt from the stands when he began to sprint at full speed, overtaking all his competitors.

He was followed behind by Elliot, who similarly blazed through the track during the last lap.

When just a few strides away from crossing the line, the cheeky Josephian turned around and gave a big smile when he realised that he was going to secure the silver for himself, explaining that he “wanted to see if anyone was trying to overtake (him).”

Elliot did not appear to show an ounce of disappointment when interviewed, and was all smiles.

“For me to be here, in the final, it is already quite amazing. I was over the moon to even qualify for this event. So second or podium, it is really amazing nevertheless,” said Elliot.

In addition to clocking a personal best which was previously set during the heats last week, this was Elliot’s first year competing in track. Previously, he was representing the school in badminton, but decided to switch over due to injuries that prevented him from playing.

As such, he was filled with gratitude for his coaches, parents and friends, who had encouraged him along the way.

With a conclusive good race, Mervyn inches closer to his hope to see Nan Hua High School as a powerhouse in the annual track and field schools championships, and is overall glad that he could contribute like how his seniors did by winning gold.

C Division Boys’ 1500m Results
1st Mervyn Ong Shao Xuan (Nan Hua High School, #480) — 04:38.59
2nd Wong Yeh Teng Elliot (St. Joseph Institution, #281) — 04:41.10
3rd Dai Hexuan (Hwa Chong Institution, #440) — 04:42.88
4th Namasivayam Siva Sanker (Yuan Ching Secondary, #517) — 04:43.27
5th Jacob Tan (Hwa Chong Institution, #445) — 04:43.29
6th Thai Ethan (Catholic High School, #55) — 04:47.83
7th Kieran Andre Longue (St. Joseph Institution, #272) — 04:52.64
8th Tay Dian Jun Edward (Maris Stella High School, #72) — 04:53.06

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