A bad back injury which lasted eight months forced Sin Ming Wei out of his pet event, the sprint hurdles, three years ago. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. "That was when I realised I'm not cut out for hurdling because my injury stemmed from hurdling," said the Hwa Chong Institution Year 6 student. "Afterwards, I decided to try out 400 (metres), because back then I wasn't that of a strong starter, so I wasn't really that suited for the short burst events." "I think I had potential (in the 400m) and basically my coach and my teammates continued supporting me, and that's where I am today." And where he is today, is atop the A Division boys' 400m podium. In a tight race, he stopped the clock first in a personal best 51.45 seconds, finishing just 0.13s ahead of runner-up Samel Sahil Chetan (51.58s) of Singapore Sports School.
A Div 400m: Sports School’s Diane Pragasam makes it six in six after edging past Hwa Chong’s Amanda Woo
Diane Hilary Pragasam of Singapore Sports School clocked a new personal best of 1:01.00 to clinch her sixth 400m gold in six years at the annual National Schools Track and Field Championships.
B Div High Jump: Nanyang Girls’ Jade Chew soars to 1.62m personal best; marginally misses Michelle Sng’s meet record
Jade Chew marginally falls short of Michelle Sng's 16-year-old B Division girls' high jump record of 1.64m, but attained a new personal best of 1.62m to improve on the 1.61m C Division mark she had set last year.
Hwa Chong Institution's Mei Togawa went beyond even her own expectations as she vaulted to a new A Division girl's mark of 3.19 metres en route to gold in the girls' Open pole vault event, while Lin Ziqi of CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' School placed 11th with a 2.30m jump to crack the C Division girls' record.
A Div Shot Put: RI’s Matthew Lee spoils Hwa Chong party with gold-winning throw despite finger injury
On the same day that athletes from Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) emerged victorious in the B Division boys' long jump and A Division girls' high jump, Matthew Lee of Raffles Institution (RI) prevented a top three HCI podium sweep in the A Division boys' shot put when he won gold with the furthest throw of 16.66 metres. He finished ahead of HCI duo Kynaston Wee (16.08m) and Murali Sham Kumar (14.93m), while RI's Tim Ong posted 13.66m to sneak into the top four ahead of HCI's Mook He Jun (13.22m).
Coming into the 60th National Schools Track and Field Championships, Deseree Khor of Victoria Junior College (VJC) was upbeat about her chances at gold in the A Division girls' javelin. After all, she was the two-time defending champion in the event's B Division and had also set a then-new C Division record in 2016. Even as she moved up to the heavier 600-gram javelin in the A Division this year, her results remained status quo as she clinched victory in a new personal best of 32.62 metres.
Just three years ago, Hwa Chong Institution's Zeen Chia was competing in racewalking because his coaches told him his frame was too small to be a jumper. Fast forward three years, Zeen has the last laugh, clinching the B Division boys' long jump gold at the 60th National Schools Track and Field Championships in a huge personal best of 6.69 metres. His winning leap was at least 30 centimetres further than the best jumps recorded by his nearest competitors, HCI teammate Isaac Ong (6.39m) and Raffles Institution's high jump champ Mingwen Lee Sullivan (6.21m).
B Div Track and Field: Cedar and Nanyang Girls’ draw first blood via Daakshayani Negi in javelin and Ann Lee in triple jump
Traditional powerhouses Cedar Girls' Secondary and Nanyang Girls' High School (NYGH) began their title charge for the overall B Division girls' championship on the front foot with Cedar's Daakshayani Negi and Ann Lee of NYGH winning the javelin and triple jump respectively at the 60th National Schools Track and Field Championships.