Athletics: Dipna Lim-Prasad bags 400m gold in HK

Sprinter Dipna Lim-Prasad was running only her second race after an ankle injury in December.
Sprinter Dipna Lim-Prasad was running only her second race after an ankle injury in December.TNP FILE PHOTO

National sprinter Dipna Lim-Prasad ran 57.11sec to clinch her first gold medal this season in the women's 400m at the Hong Kong Athletic Championships yesterday.

Fellow Team Singapore athlete Joy Kuan took third spot (1min) in the same event at the two-day meet.

This was just Lim-Prasad's second race since suffering an ankle injury in December. She won the 400m silver at last month's Singapore Open at the National Stadium.

Her 400m time in Hong Kong was, however, slower than her time of 56.33sec last month. Her personal best stands at 56.23.

It is also two seconds off national record-holder Chee Swee Lee's 55.08 set at the 1974 Asian Games, and also well behind the Olympic qualifying mark of 52.20.

Lim-Prasad told The Straits Times: "The timing wasn't as fast as I had hoped for. I thought I could have done even better for the second race since I did so well in my first one back from injury.

"I guess I got greedy. You can't expect every race to be a personal best."

Yet unfavourable conditions could also have a played a part.

"We had an early-morning race time and there was strong head wind. Joy and I were blown away by the wind quite literally," she joked. "But it provided invaluable experience for the rest of my season in terms of pacing and race experience... so I'm really grateful and pleased."

With her first win under her belt, Lim-Prasad has set her sights on her next meet, the May 17-21 Taiwan Open.

In other Team Singapore results from Hong Kong, both Kerstin Ong and Nur Izlyn posted personal bests in the women's 100m hurdles final. Ong (14.88sec) came in third and Izlyn (14.89) was fourth.

Muhammad Nasiruddin took third place in the men's high jump with a leap of 1.99m, while Tan Wei Jie (1.95m) was just behind in fourth.

Nicholas Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2016, with the headline 'Lim-Prasad bags 400m gold in HK'. Print Edition | Subscribe