School sports

Contrasting backdrop as two records broken

VJC's Nicole Low competing in the A Division 3,000m final yesterday at Bishan Stadium. Her time of 10min 57.61sec beat a record that had stood for 13 years. Right: Pasir Ris Secondary School's lone runner, Syed Hussein, who won the B Division cross-c
Pasir Ris Secondary School's lone runner, Syed Hussein, who won the B Division cross-country title last month, took the B Division 3,000m title yesterday with a time of 9:44.86.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
VJC's Nicole Low competing in the A Division 3,000m final yesterday at Bishan Stadium. Her time of 10min 57.61sec beat a record that had stood for 13 years. Right: Pasir Ris Secondary School's lone runner, Syed Hussein, who won the B Division cross-c
VJC's Nicole Low competing in the A Division 3,000m final yesterday at Bishan Stadium. Her time of 10min 57.61sec beat a record that had stood for 13 years. PHOTO COURTESY OF EVELYN TEOH

Two competition records were broken yesterday in the 57th National Inter School Track & Field Championships at Bishan Stadium but there was a stark contrast in the way they were set.

While Nanyang Girls' High School hurdler Elizabeth-Ann Tan managed to set a new mark at her first attempt in the C Division 80m hurdles final, it took Nicole Low of Victoria Junior College (VJC) two years to get her name in the record books for the A Division 3,000m.

Nicole broke a 13-year-old record when she clocked 10min 57.61sec, a shade under the 2003 mark set by Hwa Chong Junior College's Pamela Chia (10:59.21).

The 18-year-old, who revealed she was nervous before the race, said: "When I found out I broke it, I was very happy. I wasn't confident at the start because my legs felt heavy but I'm glad they loosened up as I ran the rounds and sped up."

VJC's track and field teacher Evelyn Teoh added: "We hoped that she would have broken it last year actually. It's good that she managed to stay focused this time and managed to do it.

"Nicole has been doing consistently well in training and this time, it was just about staying calm, remaining confident and running her own race."

It was 13-year-old Elizabeth-Ann's first year in the championships but it did not take her long to break the C Division 80m hurdles record in 12.07sec to win the gold, beating team-mates Valencia Ho (12.72s) and Tiffany Yau (13.01).

The previous mark of 12.33 was set by Singapore Sports School's Tia Louise Rozario in 2014.

Elizabeth-Ann said: "I didn't expect it at all because when I crossed the finish line, I thought I (had done) well but didn't know about the record. Next year, I hope to break my own record and improve my technique as there's still a lot to learn."

In other events, VJC's Jared Chang won the A Division 110m hurdles in a time of 14.69s, edging out Hwa Chong Institution's (HCI) Randall Choo by 0.01s. Ryan Ng from VJC was third (15.93).

Pasir Ris Secondary School's Syed Hussein, who won the B Division boys' cross-country title last month, bagged the B Division 3,000m title. He led for most of the race and clocked 9:44.86 to finish ahead of Commonwealth Secondary School's Fang Yiyang (9:50.79) and HCI's Er Wen Han (9:51.38).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2016, with the headline 'Contrasting backdrop as two records broken'. Print Edition | Subscribe