SINGAPORE - The Singapore athletics squad kicked off their Asean Schools Games (ASG) campaign with a gold medal in the girls' discus event on Saturday.
Reigning National Schools B Division girls' champion Jasmin Phua prevented a Thai podium sweep by winning the event with a 40.77m effort. Thanapha Sriyongyos came in second with a throw of 39.43m, while her compatriot Athima Saowaphaiboon clinched the bronze with 33.59m.
Jasmin, 16, had previously won a bronze medal at last year's ASG in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The Nanyang Girls' High School student said: "Today, I wasn't expecting any medal, but I was expecting a personal best. I found out my technique was quite bad, and fixed a lot of technical issues (coming into this competition), so I kind of expected improvement on my performance. But I was very surprised (to win the gold)."
Jasmin also thought that the games would provide "motivation to train harder", and that it provides budding local athletes with experience and exposure.
She said: "I participated in the Asian Youth Games last year and got exposed to more world class athletes, one of them was even placed second at the World Championships last week.
"That championships gave me the motivation to train harder because of the stronger competition over there. So I think the ASG will give us all the motivation to train harder too."
Jasmin will also be competing in the shot put on Monday, where she said she "won't be expecting anything at all", even though she holds the national record in the B Division girls' shot put at 12.73m.
She also is looking forward to qualifying for next year's Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.