Lim-Prasad breaks own 400m hurdles national record
She wasn't even supposed to compete in the event.
But a late opening at the Sydney Track Classic meet yesterday allowed national hurdler Dipna Lim-Prasad to break her own national record in the women's 400m hurdles. Despite the lack of preparation, the 23-year-old Singaporean clocked 59.86 seconds to finish fifth at the Sydney Olympic Park, shaving 0.10 seconds off the previous mark she had set en route to winning a bronze medal at the 2013 South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.
Australian Lauren Wells won the race in 56.34 sec, and she was followed by compatriots Cassandra Tate (57.52), Sarah Klein (59.11) and Lisa Celi (59.45).
Lim-Prasad is Down Under with the women's 4x100m relay team, who are there to train and compete in a series of meets.
The men's relay team, who have finished runners-up in back-to-back SEA Games, are also there, along with Singapore Athletics' head coach of sprints, Luis Cunha.
"I wasn't even supposed to run in the 400m hurdles, but there was a spot at the last minute, so I was slotted in on Thursday," Lim-Prasad told The New Paper in a phone interview yesterday.
"I tried some new stepping (technique) for this race, and I'm really glad it turned out well.
"It's coach Luis' advice and I've been practising it in training but I haven't managed to use it in competition until today."
Cunha took over coaching Lim-Prasad after her long-time coach Viatchelsav Vassiliev's contract with the Singapore Sports School was not renewed and he had to leave Singapore.
"I feel really glad," said Lim-Prasad, an alumnus of the Sports School.
"Last year was a rough year and I got injured just before the Commonwealth Games. This is my second competition under new coach Luis and I feel his training has been very effective.
"I'm also happy I managed to clock a breakthrough timing, especially since the SAA has given us (sprinters) so much support in coming here."