Story by REDintern Jessica Soo. Photos by REDintern Jared Khoo.
National Stadium, Thursday, March 28, 2019 — The last stretch of the B Division Girls’ 800-metres final saw Emily Ong of Singapore Chinese Girls’ School (SCGS) pushing across the track to hit top speed and secure gold in a swift 2 minutes and 24.53 seconds.
Her timing is the fastest clocked in the girls’ B Division in eight years, since Ranjitha Raja and Wendy Enn recorded 2:22.02 and 2:23.03 respectively in the 2011 final.
Racing at the Singapore Sports Hub was an entirely new experience for Emily, let alone standing atop the 800m podium to claim her gold.
“I’m still in disbelief that I won with that time, to be very honest,” said Emily, who also won the 400m gold earlier in the competition with a timing of 1:00.51. “I was really hoping to go sub-2:30, but to run a 2:24 is really beyond my wildest dreams. But the timing was due to my competitors because they really pushed me during the race.”
With the race line-up involving the B Division girls’ 1500m champion Claudia Tang of Cedar Girls’ and runner-up Enastasia Koh of Dunman High, competition was tight.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting to win, going into the race. I thought the best I could do was second because Claudia is a really strong competitor. And Enastasia and Felicia also ran really well in the heats, so I was expecting a tough fight,” Emily added.
While Claudia led the pack in the first lap, she failed to pace up to Emily, who opened up a sizeable gap upon overtaking her in the last 200 metres. Claudia finished in second place with a timing of 2:27.27, and was followed behind by Enastasia, who stopped the clock at 2:29.23.
Beyond the competition, Emily deemed the experience as an “amazing feeling”, and shared: “I’m just really grateful that I got to run for Nationals this year because I almost had to miss it, due to the clash with Asian Youth. But I’m very grateful that Singapore Athletics allowed me to fly up later so I could do both my events.”
With the 800m final being her last race for the Nationals this year, she said she finds it “surreal” to don SCGS colours for the very last time.
A day later at the 81st Singapore Open Championships, Emily displayed her versatility by clocking a commendable 13.14 seconds in the 100m Women’s Open.
B Division Girls’ 800m Final Results
1st Emily Ong Lee Ping (#719, Singapore Chinese Girls’ School) — 02:24.53
2nd Tang Ning Xuan, Claudia (#904, Cedar Girls’ Secondary School) — 02:27.27
3rd Enastasia Koh Ye (#934, Dunman High School) — 02:29.23
4th Felicia Sng Yan Ning (#879, Cedar Girls’ Secondary School)— 02:30.30
5th Woo Ern Xi, Elsie (#1052, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 02:34.53
6th Elysia Cheong (#1039, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 02:35.98
7th Genevieve Lim Su-Ya (#666, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School) — 02:36.91
8th Ria Dedhia Nair (#1064, School of Science and Technology) — 02:41.15
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