Story by Alyssa Almas and Iman Hashim/Red Sports. Photos by Iman Hashim and Stefanus Ian/Red Sports.
Singapore Sports Hub, Friday, March 29, 2019 — It was the anchor leg of the A Division boys’ 4 by 400 metres relay final. Raffles Institution (RI)’s Marcus Tan, the 200m winner and 400m bronze medalist, had just received the baton moments after Hwa Chong Institution (HCI)’s 400m champion Sin Ming Wei — and knew that if he were to clinch gold for his team, he would have to overhaul the latter in a do-or-die one-lap sprint.
In an exhilarating concluding race of the 60th National Schools Track and Field Championships, Marcus eventually succeeded by the skin of his teeth, edging out Ming Wei to the finish line by a mere two-hundredths of a second. He stopped the clock for RI in 3 minutes and 27.94 seconds, against HCI’s 3:27.96.
The contrast of emotions between the RI and HCI teams after the results were flashed on the screen was there for all to see — one of pure elation for RI, and despair for HCI.
“We were really amazed and were extremely thrilled that we came in first, beating Hwa Chong by just 0.02s,” said Marcus, whose other relay teammates were Samuel Lee, Lee Sheng Hao and Nedunchezian Selvageethan, who had earlier just won the 1500m final to add to his 800m gold. “To be honest, we weren’t very confident at the start as some of us actually had events before our 4x400m and there were some fast competitors that we had to take note of.”
“At the start of the lap, I tried not to tense up and just focused on pacing other people,” explained Marcus when asked how he approached his final leg. “When approaching the second curve, I tried to risk my run by pushing myself and to overtake the HCI guy so that he would feel pressurised and would push as well.
“At the last 100m there was really nothing I could do but just whack and not to get overtaken. Thankfully, my tactics paid off and we won.”
The result of that final race of the day was a reverse from the earlier 4x100m relay, where the HCI team — comprising of Tedd Toh, Bryan Lam, Or Yong Jing and Sin Ming Wei — clinched the gold ahead of RI in 42.99s. RI finished 0.59s behind in second place, while Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) finished third.
Speaking about their performance, first runner Tedd, who is the 100m-long jump champion, said: “The team were really satisfied with our performance today, we trained really hard and poured our heart and soul into every training as we had the gold in mind from the very start.
“We were confident about winning the race, but we never took anything for granted because that is what we were taught by our coach. Nonetheless, we are really satisfied with the win.”
“We would like to thank our coach Mr Han Zong Jian for always mentoring us and always guiding us not only towards being better athletes but people,” Tedd added. “We would also love to thank the school, for coming down to support us. Their cheering and constant support in and out of the school really gave us an extra push of confidence.”
Meanwhile, it was a Singapore Sports School (SSP) clean sweep in the B and C Division boys’ relay races, with the school garnering all four golds across the 4x100m and 4x400m finals.
In the B Division 4x100m event, the SSP quartet comprising of Lucas Lim, Lim Rui, Muhammad Adhwa’ and Nicholas Teo finished the relay in a timing of 43.53s.
Nicholas, the anchor runner for SSP, shared: “Although upon witnessing my teammates being ahead of everyone, I decided to give it my best and continue to sprint full steam ahead towards the finishing line. It wasn’t the gold medal that we were looking towards, in fact, we had greater goals, we kept our eye focused at breaking the record.”
The championship record in the event, though, still stands at 42.41s which was set by their SSP seniors in 2015.
Still pleased with their win, Nicholas added: “We would like to thank our school for giving us such an amazing opportunity to create memories residing forever in our hearts.
“With the school’s support, we are encouraged and motivated to create greatness, to be learned champions with character,” he said, referencing his school’s motto.
Similar scenes were set during the B Division boys’ 4x400m race, where the SSP team comprising of Irsyad B Mohammad Said, Harieharan s/o Durairaj, Shan s/o Anandan and Raam Kumar Muthukumaran blazed past the competition to take the gold with a timing of 3:32.01, an improvement from their previous best of 3:35.14 clocked at the SPH Relay Championships.
Irsyad, the 400m hurdles gold medalist, shared: “I felt really hyped and ready to give my best for the school. I couldn’t wait to win my second medal, as I’ve never won a team medal in the National School Games before.”
Rounding up the SSP gold medal haul, their C Division boys bagged the 4x100m relay gold in 45.32s, finishing more than a whole second ahead of the team from RI, followed up with another victory in the 4x400m event, where the SSP team crossed the finish line in 3:48.47, almost a full two seconds ahead of runners-up Victoria School who clinched the silver with a timing of 3:50.21.
C Division Boys’ 4x100m Relay Results
1st Singapore Sports School — 45.32 seconds
2nd Raffles Institution — 46.47
3rd Hwa Chong Institution — 47.26
4th St. Joseph’s Institution — 47.46
5th Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) — 47.47
6th Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School — 48.70
7th St. Patrick’s School — 49.27
8th Victoria School — 53.53
Catholic High School — DQ
B Division Boys’ 4x100m Relay Results
1st Singapore Sports School — 43.53 seconds
2nd Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) — 43.61
3rd Hwa Chong Institution — 43.86
4th Victoria School — 44.17
5th Raffles Institution — 44.32
6th St. Patrick’s School — 45.31
7th Temasek Secondary School — 45.77
8th Bedok View Secondary School — 46.04
9th St. Joseph’s Institution — 46.52
A Division Boys’ 4x100m Relay Results
1st Hwa Chong Institution — 42.99 seconds
2nd Raffles Institution — 43.58
3rd Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) — 44.11
4th Anglo-Chinese Junior College — 44.91
5th Victoria Junior College — 45.42
6th National Junior College — 45.44
7th Eunoia Junior College — 46.12
8th Dunman High School — 50.27
St. Joseph’s Institution (International) — DQ
C Division Boys’ 4x400m Relay Results
1st Singapore Sports School — 3:48.47
2nd Victoria School — 3:50.21
3rd Raffles Institution — 3:52.65
4th Hwa Chong Institution — 3:56.55
5th Catholic High School — 4:00.05
6th Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) — 4:00.27
7th Maris Stella High School — 4:00.93
8th St. Joseph’s Institution — 4:01.62
9th Tanjong Katong Secondary School — 4:12.70
B Division Boys’ 4x400m Relay Results
1st Singapore Sports School — 3:32.01
2nd Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) — 3:33.53
3rd Hwa Chong Institution — 3:35.39
4th St. Patrick’s School — 3:41.49
5th Victoria School — 3:42.15
6th Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School — 3:46.23
7th NUS High School of Mathematics and Science — 3:49.90
Gan Eng Seng School — DQ
St. Joseph’s Institution — DQ
A Division Boys’ 4x400m Relay Results
1st Raffles Institution — 3:27.94
2nd Hwa Chong Institution — 3:27.96
3rd Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) — 3:33.32
4th St. Andrew’s Junior College — 3:38.16
5th Victoria Junior College — 3:38.45
6th National Junior College — 3:42.74
7th Catholic Junior College — 3:42.86
8th Anglo-Chinese Junior College — 3:43.98
9th St. Joseph’s Institution — 3:46.21
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