Story and photos by Iman Hashim/Red Sports. Additional reporting by Erwin Wong/Red Sports

Clara Lim (#440) of RGS rose above her competition to snatch the B Div girls' 100m gold in 12.49s, just 0.04s ahead of silver medalist Teh Ying Shan (#528) of Chung Cheng High (Yishun). Chloe Chee (#309) of MGS took bronze in 12.78s. In a historic first, all eight finalists went sub-13s. (Photo 1 © Iman Hashim/Red Sports)

Clara Lim (#440) of RGS rose above her competition to snatch the B Div girls’ 100m gold in 12.49s, just 0.04s ahead of silver medalist Teh Ying Shan (#528) of Chung Cheng High (Yishun). Chloe Chee (#309) of MGS took bronze in 12.78s. In a historic first, all eight finalists went sub-13s. (Photo 1 © Iman Hashim/Red Sports)

National Stadium, Friday, April 28, 2023 — With all eight finalists of the B Division girls’ 100 metres dipping under 13 seconds in the semis, and with six of them holding sub-12.9s personal bests ahead of the final, Clara Lim of Raffles Girls’ School (RGS) knew she had to execute her race to perfection to come out tops.

Yet, her main motivation was to cement a top four podium finish for her school in the overall divisional standings.

“Since this was my last race for the school, I just wanted to run for the team and make the school proud, so that we could get our fourth-place trophy. I was more focused on getting that for the team,” said the 16-year-old.

“I just wanted to run a good race in the Sports Hub, especially with this atmosphere.”

Not letting the pressure of the stiff competition get to her, Clara rose above to snatch the gold in 12.49s (-0.1m/s), slashing one hundredth of a second off her personal best and dipping just 0.04s ahead of nearest challenger Teh Ying Shan of Chung Cheng High (Yishun), who also lowered her PB from 12.58s to 12.53s.

Clara’s and Ying Shan’s timings rank them as the fifth and sixth fastest B Division girls over 100m all-time* at the National Schools, behind Nanyang Girls’ High alumnae Elizabeth-Ann Tan (12.25s, 2019) and Bernice Liew (12.37s, 2018), and Singapore Sports School alumnae Eugenia Tan (12.39s, 2012) and Shanti Pereira (12.43s, 2011).

Methodist Girls’ School (MGS) Secondary 3 athlete Chloe Chee, the B girls’ long jump champion (5.42m), finished with the 100m bronze this year in 12.78s, while Emily Anne Choi of CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent (STC) was the surprise fourth-place finisher, upgrading her PB by 0.1s to 12.86s.

In a historic first for the girls’ 100m across all divisions, the top 8 all went under the 13s barrier again in the final. And as far as history goes, since 1970** at least, Clara turned out to be the first and only RGS girl to have ever won a B girls’ 100m gold.

Clara acknowledged the tense atmosphere prior to lining up her blocks in the final, but was quick to thank her competitors for the extra push.

“I could feel the pressure building up in the call room… but we still managed to do it together. If it weren’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have run such a good time, because they were pushing with me as well,” said Clara, who is under the tutelage of school coach Jacter Singh and external coach Fabian William.

Ying Shan, the only Chung Cheng High (Yishun) representative at the championships this year, is also the first ever athlete from her school to have earned a medal in this event, and Chloe’s bronze is MGS’s first B girls’ 100m medal since 1998. Emily’s fourth place, meanwhile, is the highest position attained by an STC girl in this event since 2003.

The finalists were no strangers to one another, with most having gone head-to-head numerous times in the past few months. Interestingly, Ying Shan came out tops last month at the Singapore Athletics National Championships U18 girls’ 100m final, clocking 12.69s as Chloe finished second in 12.79s. Due to a poor start, Clara settled for third back then in 12.96s.

Describing her competition with the rest of the girls as a “friendly rivalry”, Clara added: “Everyone is very nice to each other, we are all friends. I really wouldn’t have made it here if not for them, because they were there to push me.”

Clara and Ying Shan also finished with the gold and silver in the 200m final two days earlier, recording 25.52s and 25.92s respectively, while defending champ Jayme Ng of CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School clocked 26.52s for bronze.

Meanwhile, the top four finishers in the A Division girls’ 100m final retained their same positions from last year, with Hwa Chong Institution’s Eleana Goh (12.49s), Victoria Junior College’s Ashley Tan (13.06s), Raffles Institution’s Lyn Liau (13.06s) and Singapore Sports School’s Samantha Ortega (13.19s) arranging themselves in that order atop the podium.

Eleana, who also retained her 200m crown, was just 0.06s off her new 100m PB of 12.43s (-1.5m/s) clocked in the semi-finals.

Eleana’s sprint double helped HCI bag its fifth straight A girls’ divisional title.

In the C Division girls’ 100m final, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ Charlotte Teh took gold in 13.53s, while Alexa Tan (13.57s) of MGS and Huang Tianai (13.64s) of Nanyang Girls’ High finished second and third respectively.

*Only includes electronically-timed (ET) performances
**Missing results for 1981 and 1982

64th National Schools Track and Field Championships 2023

C Div Girls’ 100m Final (W/G: +0.3 m/s)
1st Teh Xin Ni Charlotte (#159, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’) — 13.53 seconds
2nd Alexa Tan Liyi (#259, Methodist Girls’ School) — 13.57
3rd Huang Tianai (#283, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 13.64
4th Krishna Shashini d/o Jai Raj (#376, Singapore Sports School) — 13.84
5th Heather Tan Rae’Qi (#53, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 13.94
6th Kayley Seah Xin En (#59, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 14.07
7th Chong Kate Lynn, Lea (#276, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 14.11
8th Tan Ying Tong, Shannon (#81, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 14.48

B Div Girls’ 100m Final (W/G: -0.1 m/s)
1st Lim Yee Chern Clara (#440, Raffles Girls’ School) — 12.49 seconds
2nd Teh Ying Shan (#528, Chung Cheng High School (Yishun)) — 12.53
3rd Chloe Chee En-Ya (#309, Methodist Girls’ School) — 12.78
4th Emily Anne Choi Yi Siu (#182, CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent) — 12.86
5th Megan Anne Ying Ka Mun (#76, Cedar Girls’ Secondary) — 12.92
6th Koh Jing Xuan, Bernyce (#457, Singapore Sports School) — 12.95
7th Jayme Ng Sok Chee (#156, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’) — 12.96
8th Soh Hwei En, Rachel (#358, Nanyang Girls’ High School) — 12.99

A Div Girls’ 100m Final
1st Goh En Ya, Eleana (#84, Hwa Chong Institution) — 12.49 seconds
2nd Tan Yi Han Ashley (#208, Victoria Junior College) — 13.06
3rd Liau Yi Ning Lyn (#151, Raffles Institution) — 13.06
4th Samantha Theresa Ortega (#171, Singapore Sports School) — 13.19
5th Sonia Wijaya (#176, St. Andrew’s Junior College) — 13.22
6th Lee Woon Yen Meredith (#88, Hwa Chong Institution) — 13.33
7th Lin Xiwen (#56, Dunman High School) — 13.41
8th Hu Xiran (#87, Hwa Chong Institution) — 13.69

More photos next page