Story by Iman Hashim/Red Sports. Photos by Lim Yong Teck and Iman Hashim/Red Sports.
Kallang Practice Track, Saturday, January 18, 2020 — Vanessa Lee is not one to be easily satisfied. The National University of Singapore (NUS) athlete had just completed a second successive treble of distance titles at the Institute-Varsity-Polytechnic (IVP) Track and Field Championships, but knew there was more in her locker to show for.
“I am not satisfied with my performance,” said the third-year engineering undergraduate after her 5000-metre run.
“Although I am disappointed that I wasn’t in shape to chase my championship record in the 5000m, my main focus at this IVP was to clock a decent 10000m result, and with any luck, meet AUG qualification.”
Heeding her coach’s advice, Vanessa opted to stay with the front pack consisting of NUS teammate Toh Ting Xuan and Nanyang Technological University (NTU)’s Valerie Yong throughout the first four kilometres, and only sped up in the last one-fifth of the race.
Hitting 3 minutes 30 seconds over the last kilometre, Vanessa comfortably clinched the gold stopping the clock at 19:32.91, at least 28 seconds ahead of second-placed Ting Xuan (20:01.56) and bronze medalist Valerie (20:27.26).
Vanessa’s timing still fell short of the IVP meet record of 18:51.54 that she set last year and her personal best of 18:48.38 clocked at the 2018 Singapore Athletics Inter-Club Championships, but it was more than enough to add another gold to her one-week haul which included wins in the 1500m and 10000m just days earlier.
It effectively sealed an eighth gold out of eight IVP races she has run, adding to a 1500m-5000m double in her freshman year and a 800m-1500m-5000m treble last year.
But Vanessa is still hungry for more.
“I feel nothing,” she said of her unbeaten streak. “I just feel disappointed that I wasn’t able to run any amazing timings this IVP; they are not my best results.”
Moving up the distance this season, Vanessa revealed that her coach had prepared her for a few 10km road races last year and that has helped her on the road to IVP.
Her maiden track 10000m timing of 39:43.78 clocked on Wednesday, January 15 set a new championship record and places her fifth on the Singaporean female all-time list, at the same time meeting qualification — along with the 5000m — for the ASEAN University Games (AUG) to be held in December.
Ting Xuan also claimed the silver in that race finishing in 41:03.60, while Vanessa’s former Victoria Junior College teammate Nicole Low of NTU took the bronze in 42:03.44.
1st Vanessa Lee (#131, National University of Singapore) — 19:32.91
2nd Toh Ting Xuan (#146, National University of Singapore) — 20:01.56
3rd Valerie Yong (#91, Nanyang Technological University) — 20:27.26
4th Tan Yu Hui (#209, Ngee Ann Polytechnic) — 20:31.25
5th Elise Tan (#359, Singapore Polytechnic) — 22:29.56
6th Sarah Tan (#302, Singapore Institute of Technology) — 22:40.47
7th Lin Hui Qin (#351, Singapore Polytechnic) — 22:46.46
8th Thaaranie Tammilmani (#303, Singapore Institute of Technology) — 23:57.18
1st Vanessa Lee (#131, National University of Singapore) — 39:43.78 (New CR)
2nd Toh Ting Xuan (#146, National University of Singapore) — 41:03.60
3rd Nicole Low (#79, Nanyang Technological University) — 42:03.44
4th Sarah Tan (#302, Singapore Institute of Technology) — 48:09.19
5th Thaaranie Tammilmani (#303, Singapore Institute of Technology) — 52:19.61
6th Nur Hafizah (#85, Nanyang Technological University) — 52:36.32
7th Jovina Wong (#277, Singapore Institute of Management) — 57:16.41
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