Story and photos by Iman Hashim/Red Sports
Bukit Gombak Stadium, Monday, April 25, 2022 — When Mark Lee dipped across the line in the A Division 200-metre semi-finals three days earlier, he thought he had set a new schools national record with a 21.66-second run. But his joy was cut short when he realised it was aided by a 2.4 metres per second tailwind, which is above the legal limit for records to be granted.
“I decided that I was fully going for the record (in the semis)… so when I found out it was not a legal wind, it was quite disappointing because that’s one of the few things out of my control,” said the 18-year-old Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) athlete. “But I was grateful that it was only the semi-finals… I still had one more chance.”
And he duly seized the opportunity by blazing through the final in a record 21.62s — into a slight 0.3m/s headwind this time, no less.
The timing shattered the 10-year-old electronically-timed championship and schools national record of 21.75s set by Hwa Chong alumnus Donovan Chan, as well as Sandy Hong’s hand-timed mark of 21.7s set in 1984.
“Coming (into the final), I didn’t really let it faze me,” said Mark of the expectation of going under the record again. After all, his previous wind-legal personal best was 22.06s which he clocked in the heats.
“There were more nerves, more atmosphere, more adrenaline in this race obviously, but all in all, I just focused on my race, my execution… and my coach let me know that no matter what, as long as I run my race, I’m going to get it,” added Mark, who is coached by Hamkah Afik.
“I know I’ve put in so much work over these past few years… it’s been a long time coming.”
Tampines Meridian Junior College athlete Kieren Lee took the silver in the race in 22.76s, while Raffles Institution’s Zachary Tan clocked 22.82s for bronze.
The top three boys will all meet again on Friday (April 29) in the 100m final, of which Mark has qualified fastest with a huge 10.72s personal best in the semis, just two-hundredths of a second shy of the meet record also held by Donovan Chan.
“That’s always the aim,” said Mark of the possibility of another record-breaking feat.
“But I wasn’t really going for the record (in the semis)… I knew I could hit 10.7, that was my aim, so when I hit 10.72 I wasn’t thinking like, ‘oh so close to the record’, I was just very happy because it was a very big PB… and I’ve been stuck with the same PB of 10.89 since last year.”
“My preparations this year haven’t been very good, honestly… I’m just happy I got my confidence and my form back,” added Mark, who is also bound for the Hanoi Southeast Asian (SEA) Games next month as part of the national 4x100m relay squad.
On his hopes of breaking into the main relay quartet for the regional Games, the youngest member of the squad said: “All I can do is try my best, try to break the record this Friday and just see what happens.”
63rd National Schools Track and Field Championships 2022
April 25 – Selected Results
A Div Boys’ 200m Final (W/G: -0.3m/s)
1st Mark Lee Ren (#53, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 21.62 seconds
2nd Kieren Lee (#284, Tampines Meridian Junior College) — 22.76
3rd Zachary Tan (#248, Raffles Institution) — 22.82
4th Pinto Gabriel Matthew (#307, Victoria Junior College) — 22.91
5th Lee Zheng Yu (#229, Raffles Institution) — 23.26
6th Lim Yu Hng (#135, Hwa Chong Institution) — 23.33
7th Cyruss Quanying Khern (#319, Yishun Innova Junior College) — 23.60
8th Julian Chew (#49, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 23.66
C Div Girls’ 800m Final
1st Caelyn Chew (#45, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 2:39.22
2nd Manuela Sidhom (#166, CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent) — 2:40.17
3rd Cheryl Tan (#264, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 2:40.42
4th Micole Wee Purida Nantalieya (#98, CHIJ Katong Convent) — 2:42.48
5th Fong Yu En (#104, CHIJ Secondary Toa Payoh) — 2:45.10
6th Emma Lee (#382, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 2:45.53
7th Ng Zi Ying (#382, St. Anthony’s Canossian) — 2:45.55
8th Megan Puah (#353, Raffles Girls’ School) — 2:45.87
C Div Boys’ 800m Final
1st Soh Wee Jin (#66, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)) — 2:15.40
2nd Emre Rizq Mika (#363, Singapore Sports School) — 2:17.95
3rd Jeevan Joshua Jerom (#488, Victoria School) — 2:18.73
4th Daniel Raihan Curran (#30, Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Rd)) — 2:19.87
5th Dhiran Dev Rajah (#386, St. Joseph’s Institution) — 2:20.89
6th Robert Dolya (#331, Raffles Institution) — 2:21.70
7th Bryan Koh (#214, Hwa Chong Institution) — 2:21.89
8th Zachary Chao (#409, St. Joseph’s Institution) — 2:25.27
B Div Girls’ 800m Final
1st Laavinia D/O Jaiganth (#477, Singapore Sports School) — 2:30.79
2nd Faith Foo (#333, Nan Hua High School) — 2:31.38
3rd Kimberly Chew (#455, Raffles Girls’ School) — 2:32.80
4th Tan Kit Kaye (#151, CHIJ Secondary Toa Payoh) — 2:34.38
5th Elizabeth Tang (#229, Crescent Girls’ School) — 2:34.46
6th Anisah Bte Omar Alkhatib (#52, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 2:37.71
7th Lana Chen (#222, Crescent Girls’ School) — 2:38.20
8th Shanice Tan Haridas (#392, National Junior College) — 2:38.82
B Div Boys’ 800m Final
1st Subaraghav Hari S/O Tamil Selvam (#714, Victoria School) — 2:07.66
2nd Mohamed Khairulnazim B Abdul Jaffar (#700, Victoria School) — 2:07.69
3rd Nicholas Koh (#230, Deyi Secondary) — 2:10.88
4th Muhammad Haneef B Mohammad Hanafiah (#555, Singapore Sports School) — 2:11.11
5th Shayan Emmanuel (#559, Singapore Sports School) — 2:11.53
6th Hua Boyu (#155, Catholic High School) — 2:12.40
7th Sherman Tan (#442, North Vista Secondary) — 2:12.50
8th Asher Jireh Tay (#571, St. Joseph’s Institution) — 2:13.92
More photos next page