Youth thrower Roy lets fly again

Roy Ng, 17, setting an Under-18 boys' national javelin record with a 61.79m throw at Kallang yesterday. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Roy Ng, 17, setting an Under-18 boys' national javelin record with a 61.79m throw at Kallang yesterday. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

The Singapore Athletics (SA) Performance Trial 2 yesterday was the final event of a virus-hit season for many, and it was also Roy Ng's last chance to rewrite the Under-18 boys' national javelin record.

The 17-year-old made sure to seize his opportunity at the Home of Athletics at Kallang, notching a 61.79m throw on his sixth and final attempt to better the previous mark of 59.76m set by Wang Tingjia at the 2017 Asean School Games.

The record-breaking achievement was Roy's second in two weeks, after he set a national U-20 mark of 57.19m at the SA Performance Trial 1 on Nov 29.

"I just pushed myself and luckily I got it," said Roy, who was nursing a minor injury in his right hand.

"For some reason, before the throw, I managed to keep calm. It was only after the throw that all the stress came out.

"It was a huge relief (when I saw it was a good throw), it was a good feeling for me."

In order to compete in the U-18 event, he made the switch from the heavier 800g javelin used in the U-20 competition to a 700g spear after last month's meet.

His coach Chen Jinlong felt that it might have been the reason why it took his charge six tries to break the record.

The 38-year-old said: "When you throw the 800g (javelin), it comes down faster, but for the 700g, if you don't tilt it properly, it'll keep flying and it won't go far.

"He was still trying to catch the javelin in the first five (attempts), but he caught it in the last one."

Although he was only able to train at home during the circuit breaker earlier this year, Roy made sure to maintain his fitness by doing body weight training and cardio exercises.

This was key to a smooth transition back to training on the field, he added.

With two national age group records under his belt, the Raffles Institution student-athlete is aiming for another mark next year - the Schools A Division boys' record of 59.06m - before he sits for his A levels.

That record is held by Justyn Phoa, who set the national men's javelin record of 61.07m at last month's meet.

Roy said: "Just breaking the record allows me to surprise myself. It's a signal to myself that I can do better, no matter the circumstances. It's the reassurance that I got from this competition.

"At the start of the circuit breaker, there were lots of question marks, but to come out of it and being able to do all this is a huge sigh of relief and a sign to keep pushing."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2020, with the headline 'Youth thrower Roy lets fly again'. Subscribe