Athletics: Hurdler Ang Chen Xiang betters own record again at national c'ships

Ang Chen Xiang (left) and Awyong Liang Qi in the Men’s 110m hurdles in the Singapore Athletics National Championships on Jan 23, 2022. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - National hurdler Ang Chen Xiang's season has gotten off to a flying start, with the 27-year-old rewriting his national records twice in slightly more than a week.

After bettering his men's 110m hurdles record at the Club Zoom Kindred Spirit Series 2 last Saturday (Jan 15), Ang shaved 0.19sec off his mark of 14.16sec on Sunday after clocking 13.97 sec at the Singapore National Track & Field Championships 2022.

Ang's time at the Home of Athletics in Kallang also matched the 2019 SEA Games gold medal-winning time - 0.02sec quicker than what was needed to earn him a ticket to this year's Games in May.

Ang said: "I'm definitely very happy - it exceeded my expectations in many ways.

"Going below 14 seconds is something I have dreamt of and worked towards for the past five to six years of my life.

"I'm glad I managed to do what I needed to do and with good execution comes good timing. I'm happy that the results speak for the work that we've put in over the past years."

Ang said that did not have any expectations going into the meet and thought he would be clocking times of 14 to 14.1 seconds at best.

"I was focusing on executing my technique well and that would have probably brought me to 14 or 14.1 standard - a sub-14 is definitely a blessing," said Ang, who is completing his national service as a medical officer.

"Going below 14 is a goal for all of us, it's a historic mark."

Ang believes that regular competition opportunities have contributed to his recent form, as the meets allow him to test his limits.

While he was thrilled to match the 2019 SEA Games gold medal time, he remained coy about his goals for this year's edition in Hanoi.

The gold medal-winning times at the last three Games (2019, 2017, 2015) were 13.97sec, 13.83 and 13.69. Defending champion Clinton Bautista of the Philippines ran 14.42sec most recently at the Ayala Philippine Athletics Championships in December, while silver medallist Rayzam Shan Wan Sofian of Malaysia clocked 13.72sec at the National Athletics Championships in the same month.

Instead of worrying about his rivals, Ang insisted that his main focus in the lead up to the Games would be on fine-tuning his technique such as his take-off mechanics.

Ang, who finished eighth in the previous edition in the Philippines, said: "On the day itself, anything can happen so we'll just go there and do our best and the results will follow. For me every race and training is a blessing and i just want to soak in and enjoy this ability to compete.

"I will go in with the same mentality - I'm going in with my (Christian) faith, with the execution in mind and the results will follow. If I don't produce the results, again it's not something that would matter to me, I'm happy where I am."

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