National School Games: Teens break records in high jump and triple jump

Raffles Institution's Rei Tan cleared 1.85m in the C Division boys' high jump. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - Two records, one which had stood for 16 years, were smashed at the National School Games (NSG) track and field competition at Bukit Gombak Stadium on Monday (April 11).

Raffles Institution's (RI) Rei Tan clinched the C Division boys' high jump with a 1.85m effort, 3cm higher than the 2006 mark set by HCI's Wayne Yap, while in the A Division men's triple jump, Hwa Chong Institution's (HCI) Isaac Ong leapt 14.71m to erase the  14.58m record set by Singapore Sports School's Andrew Medina in 2019.

Rei, who was making his NSG debut, said: "It feels good to have my name enter the record books.I had a certain level of expectation for me to meet that standard but it all comes down to the moments before the jump."

Despite his feat, the 14-year-old felt that he had "potential to do even better but was getting tired towards the end" after he attempted to clear 1.87m in his last try.

Rei's coach, Fuad Idris, was not very surprised by his 1.86m charge's feat as he had been clearing such heights in training.

"We are thankful to see what he has been achieving and for him to have this mental resilience throughout competitions. Jumping 1.85m was something he was really proud to have. He's a talent that we have unearthed in school and from there we polished him and we realised that he can go above and beyond and he's even beating seniors."

Fuad hopes that "through all these experiences, Rei will believe that he has a talent and can inspire more people in the school that things like this can happen."

Despite acknowledging that Rei is a quick learner and has progressed fast in training, Fuad remains cautious and does not want him to burn out.

"We need to make sure he develops fully so we are taking things slowly," he said.

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Isaac's new division record in the triple jump comes in his last year of competition.

Isaac, who has had eight years' experience in the discipline, had been eyeing this record together with his coach for the past one-and-a-half years.

"I had been putting in more effort in the long jump than the triple jump event. Going into the triple jump competition, I felt very fatigued and some of the drills that I usually do became a bit tough to do," he said.

In the end, all it took was for Isaac to get back in the sandpit to find his groove again.

"During the warm up, I felt quite uncertain and I didn't expect to do well. But after the first jump, I knew I had it in me to go far."

However, reaching the next milestone in his jumping career will have to wait as both Isaac and his coach, John Seem, are focused on his A-level examinations before his next return to the sandpit.

In the day's other finals, Raffles Girls' School's Bhavna Gopikrishna took gold in the B Division girls' triple jump with her effort of 11.22m while HCI's Evan Lye clinched gold with a distance of 47.83m in the B Division boys' javelin.

Raffles Girls' School's Bhavna Gopikrishna took gold in the B Division girls' triple jump with her effort of 11.22m. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Due to inclement weather in the morning, the A Division men's discus throw final was postponed to Wednesday (April 13).

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