Story and photos by Iman Hashim/Red Sports
Choa Chua Kang Stadium, Monday, March 25, 2019 — Nursing a bruise on his heel, Andrew George Medina knew he had to make his first few jumps count — he was not planning to use up all six of his attempts in the A Division boys’ triple jump final.
Eventually, he only attempted four — skipping his fourth and last tries — and also fouled two of his four jumps. But his job was already done on his second attempt, as the fifth-year Singapore Sports School (SSP) student leapt 14.58 metres to crack the meet record at the 60th National Schools Track and Field Championships.
It surpassed the previous A Division boys’ mark of 14.55m, set by then-Raffles Junior College athlete Lee Chen Yong in 2002, the same year Andrew was born.
“I was definitely hoping to break the record, but coming into this competition I was already injured,” Andrew explained. “I knew I didn’t have too many attempts, so the first few would determine whether I would be able to do it.”
Andrew had sustained his injury at the 14th Southeast Asian (SEA) Youth Athletics Championships in the Philippines early this month, where he recorded his previous personal best of 14.36m against a strong headwind of 2 metres per second.
But a packed competition calendar meant he had no time to recover — barely two weeks later he represented Singapore again at the 3rd Asian Youth Athletics Championships in Hong Kong, where he said he did “very badly” with a best recorded jump of 13.43m.
“All these competitions (SEA Youth, Asian Youth, National Schools) are all one week apart, so I didn’t really have time to recover,” he rued.
And the National Schools competition, in fact, began almost catastrophically for him when he fouled his first attempt.
“Honestly I wasn’t too confident after my first run,” he said. “So I was just thinking of getting in a jump, because the first one was red-flagged. I just wanted one jump to make sure I had a distance.”
And it turned out to be ‘one shot, one kill’ for Andrew when he executed his next jump perfectly to enter the record books.
Completing the podium, Victoria Junior College (VJC) duo Rik Lim and Daniel Christopher Lee leapt 13.89m and 13.69m respectively to claim the silver and bronze.
The last time that two VJC athletes finished in the top three of this event was in 1986.
The next morning, it was another Victorian triple jumper’s turn to rejoice as Gabriel Lee of Victoria School won the B Division boys’ event, also with a new record to boot.
His 14.29m jump erased the previous B Division record of 14.27m, set by SSP alumnus Dylan Wong in 2014.
A Division Boys’ Triple Jump – Results
1st Andrew George Medina (#21, Singapore Sports School) — 14.58 metres (New CR)
2nd Rik Lim (#196, Victoria Junior College) — 13.89
3rd Daniel Christopher Lee (#184, Victoria Junior College) — 13.69
4th Jorden Chong (#80, Catholic Junior College) — 13.26
5th Teo Yock Cheng (#176, Dunman High School) — 13.23
6th Wang Ruijie (#275, Hwa Chong Institution) — 13.04
7th Benaiah Hoong Yong Qi (#240, Hwa Chong Institution) — 12.72
8th Sven Shane Chen (#133, Raffles Institution) — 12.67
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