HE COULD have participated in the South-east Asia Youth Athletics Championships in Kuala Lumpur over the last weekend, but Toh Wei Yu gave up that idea in search of glory for his school.
Needless to say, his decision raised eyebrows. However, the Raffles Institution (RI) student's choice was vindicated yesterday, when he won the Schools National B Division boys' long jump final with a 6.61m effort at the Bukit Gombak Stadium.
"I made the right decision," said the 16-year-old. "Our school hasn't won the B Boys' overall title in 25 years and personally, I felt it was my responsibility to help the school, especially since it's my last year in this division. The SEA Youth Championships are quite tough to win and I also didn't want to risk injury."
The win was reward for his dramatic improvement in the discipline. Last year, he finished only in ninth place with a 6.14m leap. But after clocking a personal-best 6.68m at last month's Singapore Youth and Junior Athletics Championships, he admitted he was actually gunning for 6.79m, Tan Lin Keat's 20-year-old meet record.
He said: "I wanted to break the meet record today but unfortunately I couldn't as the heat affected my performance."
Training thrice a week, he is now targeting qualification at the Asean School Games in Brunei in November, and hopes to eventually jump more than seven metres.
Said his teacher-in-charge Mr Vincent Quek: "Physically he may not be as well-built as the others, but he makes up for it with his hard work and attitude."
Victoria School's Lin Yu En finished second in 6.26m while third went to St Joseph's Institution's Zachary Lau (6.08m).
One meet record was broken yesterday, when Jasmin Phua of Nanyang Girls' High School threw 33.49m in the C Girls discus final. She broke Chan Zhi Xuan's record of 31.76m, which had stood since 2008.
Boys - 5,000m (A Div): 1 Shohib Marican (RI) 16min 41.87sec 2 Tan Chong Qi (RI) 16:58.51 3 Matthew Neo (VJC) 17:26.57. 110m hurdles (A Div): 1 Jared Chang (VJC) 15.28sec 2 Mark Loh (HCI) 16.25 3 Ryan Ng (VJC) 16.31. 110m hurdles (B Div): 1 Marcell Tan (SSP) 14.82 2 Chong Wei Guan (SSP) 15.37 3 Randall Choo (HCI) 15.80. Long jump (B Div): 1 Toh Wei Yu (RI) 6.61m 2 Lin Yu En (VS) 6.26 3 Zachary Lau (SJI) 6.08. 3,000m (B Div): 1 Isaac Tan (ACSI) 9:39.21 2 Brandon Quek (CSS) 9:50.47 3 Syed Hussein Syed Negaib (PRS) 9:53.16. 100m Hurdles (C Div): 1 Azizul Zahari (SSP) 15.12 2 Matz Chan (RI) 15.16 3 Gerard Loh (HCI) 15.64.
Girls - 3,000m (A Div): 1 Nicole Low (VJC) 11:09.97 2 Vanessa Lee (VJC) 11:21.26 2 Nah Yi Xin (RI) 11:37.70. 100m Hurdles (A Div): 1 Laura Tan (RI) 15.34 2 Naomi Tan (HCI) 15.83 3 Janine Foo (HCI) 16.45. 100m Hurdles (B Div): 1 Tia Razario (SSP) 15.19 2 Tan Jing Wei (Cedar) 15.99 3 Tan Rou Ann (NYGH) 16.78. 80m Hurdles (C Div): 1 Valencia Ho (NYGH) 12.53 2 Raine Oh (SSP) 12.70 3 Rachel Chin (SSP) 13.32. Javelin (B Div): 1 Evian Chua (NYGH) 35.35m 2 Vishnu K Sharmni (Cedar) 29.14 3 Gale Tan (NYGH) 27.88. 1,500m Walk (B Div): 1 Dora Shoo (Bendemeer) 8:05.69 2 Wu Xinyao (Deyi) 8:08.55 3 Odelia Cheong (CHIJ Toa Payoh) 8:43.97. High Jump (C Div): 1 Melanie Tan (NYGH) 1.43m 2 Sherell Toh (Cedar) 1.40 3 Li En Ning (Dunman High) 1.35m. Discus (C Div) 1 Jasmin Phua (NYGH) 33.49 2 Joleen Ho (Cedar) 26.36 3 Tiaral Soong (Cedar) 25.59.