By Kelly Leong (20S07C) and Sarah Lok (20A03A)
Photographs courtesy of Chloe Guai (20A01D) of Raffles Photographic Society
The 29th of March might have been just a normal day for most, but it was not the case for the RI Track and Field Team. With new personal bests, numerous medals and countless memories created as a team, the team truly blazed the trail that culminated at the National Stadium.
The atmosphere was nothing short of electrifying: school spirit ran high in the stadium, with the spectators ardently cheering for their athletes, waving flags and banners of their respective school colours. The excitement was palpable even at the gates into the stadium, for enthusiastic supporters could be seen engaging in extremely lively chatter. On the ground below the spectators, events happened concurrently: pole vault and high jump events on the field, running on the track and long jump near the sandpit.
One of the first golds on the track was attained during the exhilarating 100m sprint by Grace Shani Anthony (19S03N).
Bringing in more medals were the athletes in the 1500m race – which could not have gotten any closer – with Nedunchezian Selvageethan (19S06A) and Armand Mohan (19A13B) fighting for the top spot alongside another athlete. It was a nail-biting final lap, to say the least: in their bid to cross the finish line first, frequent shifts in ranking could be seen, alongside some physical contact. Selva remarked that the athletes “were prepared for a close race, but [they] stuck to [their] race plan and it happened for [them]”; Armand mentioned that the season had been a “tumultuous experience” for him – he was injured last year and had to get [back] into shape quickly, but it all worked out for him.
In between the track events, records were also broken in the stadium, with the most prominent being the high jump finals. This event saw students from all schools rallying to support an athlete from Victoria Junior College in breaking the high jump record: he eventually cleared the bar set at 2.15m – up 0.2m from the previous record of 2.13m – to reverberant cheers from the audience.
From the field and onto the track, the A Div Girls 4x400m finals saw two teams running neck-and-neck for the first half of the race, concluding with RI bagging the gold. Nicole Lim (20S03I), a runner both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays, commented that the “preparation was really tiring” and that the team had actually begun competing in December. “Everyone wanted the gold, so we motivated each other,” she supplied with a smile.
Concluding the season with a bang, the A Div Boys 4x400m finals — arguably the most heart-stopping, scream-eliciting event — had the top 3 teams evenly matched throughout, with the RI team clinching the gold by a mere margin of 0.02 seconds. Some audience members were silently transfixed with bated breath, whilst some began cheering even louder for the team.
When various team members were asked if they had any words for the school, all of them resoundingly responded with “Join Track!” – this bears testament to their undying team spirit and camaraderie. Boys’ Captain Joel Low (19S03I) sums it up well: “Our victory was in doing it together. There were a lot of injuries, but we’ve journeyed together and gained a lot – we learnt to push through and never give up, even when hope was bleak.”
With that, Raffles Press would like to congratulate Track and Field on their outstanding achievements in the 2019 season!
A Division Boys
ARMAND DHILAWALA MOHAN – 3000m Steeplechase 3rd, 1500m 2nd
GARETH ONG BAO SHENG – Pole Vault 4th
HENG JEE KUAN – Pole Vault 2nd
JERED WONG JEN WENG – 110m Hurdles 2nd, 400m Hurdles 2nd
JOSHUA TIMOTHY D’CRUZ – 100m 4th, 200m 2nd
LEE JUN LONG MATTHEW – Shot Put 1st, Discus 3rd
LOW MING HERNG JOEL – Javelin 1st
MARCUS TAN LAI HE – 200m 1st, 400m 3rd
MATZ CHAN – 110m Hurdles 1st, 400m Hurdles 1st
NEDUNCHEZIAN SELVAGEETHAN – 800m 1st, 1500m 1st
PUA WEI KAI, JONATHAN – High Jump 3rd
RYAN NG KAI KIAT – Discus 1st
SUN SHAO YAO, WALDEN – Javelin 4th
TAN KAI XIANG, ASHER – 5000m Walks 4th
TIM ONG KAI SHENG – Shot Put 4th
XAVIER EMMANUEL LEUNG – Javelin 2nd
4x100m Relay 2nd
4x400m Relay 1st
A Division Girls
GRACE SHANI ANTHONY – 100m 1st, 200m 1st
LIM XIN HUI – 2000m Steeplechase 2nd
LIM ZHI XUAN – 3000m 4th
VALENCIA HO TING YIN – 100m Hurdle 1st, Long Jump 2nd
4x100m Relay 2nd
4x400m Relay 1st