Hwa Chong 1-2-3 in B Boys' pole vault
Clevon's war cry inspires an HCI sweep in B Boys' pole-vault final
Before Clevon Wong made his first jump at the National Schools' Track and Field Championships yesterday, he hesitated at his starting position, took a deep breath and let out a loud battle cry.
He pumped himself up, and inadvertently also rallied his Hwa Chong Institution teammates, Saciin Esan D Maran and Kyler Ong, in the B Division Boys' pole-vault final at Bishan Stadium.
The trio duly completed a podium sweep of the event, with 16-year-old Clevon finishing in first place after clearing 3.85m, ahead of 15-year-olds Esan (3.80m) and Kyler (3.55m).
For Clevon, who posted a new personal best, the win made up for his fourth-place finish in last year's meet.
"I guess that was the motivation, because I've never won a gold medal at the National Schools' competition," said the Secondary 4 student, who bettered his personal best of 3.70m at the SAA Track and Field Series 2 competition in February.
"I just told myself that I wanted a gold this time, and if I wanted a gold, then I had to buck up."
When asked about a personal rivalry with his teammates, Clevon exchanged sheepish smiles with Esan and Kyler before saying: "Our main aim was the podium sweep, it didn't really matter who won what."
Kyler added: "It's ultimately for the school."
Hwa Chong coach David Yeo praised the trio for their camaraderie, although he admitted their close friendship could be a "problem".
"It's good that they train together and improve together, but I could see that when it came down to just the three of them, they lost a bit of their fire," said the 42-year-old, who has been coaching Hwa Chong's pole-vaulters since 1999.
Yeo and his charges have already set their sights on next year's competition.
Clevon, who will compete in the A Division next year, has already set a target of 4.50m.
Kyler and Esan, champion and runner-up respectively at last year's C Division pole-vault event, aim to also do well.
Said Esan: "4.50m ah… I think I can do it."
Our main aim was the podium sweep, it didn’t really matter who won what.
— Hwa Chong Institution’s Clevon Wong
B BOYS POLE-VAULT FINAL
1. Clevon Wong (Hwa Chong lnstitution) — 3.85m
2. Saciin Esan (Hwa Chong lnstitution) — 3.80m
3. Kyler Ong (Hwa Chong lnstitution) — 3.55m
Tedd thrives under pressure
TERRIFIC: Hwa Chong Institution’s Tedd Toh clearing 12.81m to win the C Boys’ triple-jump gold yesterday. TNP PHOTO: PHYLLICIA WANG
Hwa Chong Institution's Tedd Toh delivered when it mattered, winning the C Boys' triple-jump gold in the National Schools' Track and Field Championships yesterday with his final attempt.
The 14-year-old's previous best jump was 11.95m and, in a dramatic finish at the Bishan Stadium, he set a new mark of 12.81m, which saw him overtake Catholic High School's Hansel Loh.
Minutes earlier, silver medallist Hansel, 14, had set a new personal best when he jumped 12.60m, improving his distance by 0.95m.
Joel Tan of Raffles Institution finished third with 12.21m.
Speaking to The New Paper after his win, Tedd said: "I think I'm super lucky today.
"The previous jumper hit 12.60 and I think the pressure helped me.
"I want to thank my competitors as they pushed me to my limits and drove me to do better."
Coach and teacher in charge, Ang Ka Soo, paid tribute to his charge, saying: "He is obedient and hardworking.
"This is good training for him and I'm proud of his performance."
This was the second time Hansel had his gold medal taken away in such a manner by the same opponent.
The duo also tangled in the Under-15 triple-jump final three weeks ago at the 42nd Singapore Under-18 & Under-20 Athletics Championships at Bukit Gombak Stadium.
"This is the second time that he beat me with his last jump," said Hansel.
"I posted a leading distance with my last jump but he managed to beat me with his final jump, just like what happened today," he said.
"I'll continue to work hard and I hope that I'll be able to beat him the next time we meet."
C BOYS TRIPLE-JUMP FINAL
1. Tedd Toh (Hwa Chong lnstitution) — 12.81m
2. Hansel Loh (Catholic High) — 12.60m
3. Joel Tan (Raffles Institution) — 12.21m