One down, two medals to go for Goh

One down, two to go. Singapore runner Goh Chui Ling got her ambitious Hanoi SEA Games goal of medalling in multiple events off to a successful start when she clinched a bronze in the women's 1,500m yesterday.

The 29-year-old clocked 4min 33.41sec to finish behind Nguyen Thi Oanh (4:14.98) and Khuat Phuong Anh (4:26.90) from the host nation on a cool morning at the My Dinh Stadium for her first podium finish in five SEA Games.

The Singaporean was in second place for most of the race but was pipped by Anh with 150m to go.

Still, Goh was satisfied, and told The Sunday Times later that her race plan was to keep pace with the two Vietnamese, whom she described as "extraordinarily fast and hardworking".

She was delighted at finally finishing on the podium, and said: "I am just humbled to get bronze for Singapore this time.

"This is my fifth SEA Games, and I'm just grateful I'm one medal up. I have two more events, so (it's going to be) a lot recovery, eating and sleeping for now."

Goh will also race in the 800m tomorrow and the 10,000m two days later, as she aims for a hat-trick of medals.

She was initially entered for four events, but decided to skip the 5,000m.

The most medals won by a Singaporean track and field athlete at a single SEA Games in recent years has been three - when Zhang Guirong won one gold (shot put) and two bronzes (javelin and discus) in 2005.

Sprint great C. Kunalan won four in 1969 - three golds in the 100m, 200m and 4x400m relay, along with a 4x100m bronze.

Goh had also aimed to rewrite K. Jayamani's national record of 4:31.2 and even though she fell short, she said her podium finish was a good start to her season.

In the men's 200m, Reuben Rainer Lee finished fifth but had reason to celebrate as his time of 21.07sec smashed Haron Mundir's 35-year-old national record of 21.14sec (pending ratification).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 15, 2022, with the headline One down, two medals to go for Goh. Subscribe