SINGAPORE - The plan was afoot the day before the C Division girls' 3,000m final, as the trio from Cedar Girls' Seconday School, Lim Suang Kee, Tabitha Ng and Ruth Lee, devised a plan to finish in the top three.
And it paid off for them at the National School Games Track & Field Championships on Thursday (April 14) as Suang Kee finished first in 12min 39.15sec, while Tabitha (12:41.01) and Ruth (12:43.24) were second and third respectively.
Sherniz Chu of St Nicholas Girls' School (SNGS) completed the podium, clocking 12:47.08 to finish fourth at the Bukit Gombak Stadium.
The Cedarians started the race well and kept to their game plan, which involved Tabitha overtaking the leader after 1,000m while her teammates kept close to box out their rival.
While Suang Kee and Ruth briefly dropped behind Tabitha and Sherniz later in the race, a last-lap burst of energy saw them surging past Sherniz to finish 1-2-3.
Tabitha, 13, said: "If (Sherniz) was too slow, she would be overtaken, but if she ran too fast, she would get tired faster. We did our best to maintain our speed and we could see what she was doing so we knew how fast to go."
Suang Kee was pleased their plan worked. "This makes it harder for the others to overtake us and although it was a bit confusing at the start and we only got to try it last night (during training), we pulled it off quite well," said the 13-year-old.
"It's really satisfying because we didn't have a proper plan until last night. This was a run that was very memorable also because I've never reached the finals before."
The Cedarian trio were also happy to be representing their school in the NSG for the first time.
Tabitha, a Secondary 1 student, said: "I was overjoyed (when NSG was confirmed) this year because I like racing against other people from other schools and getting to learn new things from them."
Hwa Chong Institution runner Jacob Tan, who won the A Division boys' 1,500m, was also pleased to be back racing after missing out on the B Division because of the pandemic.
He clocked 4:24.27, just ahead of Anglo-Chinese Junior College's Lim Wei Feng (4:24.95) to win his first A Division gold medal.
Darrell Leow of Catholic Junior College (4:26.02) and Millennia Institute's Pranav Manimurugan 4:26.22 were third and fourth respectively.
Jacob, 17, said: "The past two years have been a very uncertain period so to be able to have the chance to win this medal is amazing.
"It was difficult to get yourself to train hard when there have been no competitions but my coach and teammates did a good job of motivating one another through this hard period."
Wei Feng, 18, was disappointed that he narrowly missed out on the gold but said he will now aim to win the 800m, which starts next week.
In the day's other finals, Reuben Loke (10:36.50) of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Ferrell Lee (4:21.70) won the C Division boys' 3,000m and B Division 1,500m respectively. Isabel Tong of SNGS won the B Division girls' 3,000m in 11:44.36, while Victoria Junior College's Faith Zhen Ford won the A Division girls' 1,500m in 5:07.82.
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