Athletics

Ang Chen Xiang's two marks in a day, despite cramps

His hamstrings tighten in 110m hurdles final, but he still breaks national record

A hamstring cramp midway through the men's 110m hurdles final yesterday did not stop Ang Chen Xiang from breaking the national record a second time on the same day, simply because the 24-year-old would not let it.

Ang finished sixth in 14.26 seconds at the Singapore Open Track and Field Championships, lowering the national record by 0.01 sec after clocking 14.27 in the heats.

He was not the only Singaporean to break a national record yesterday. Tia Louise Rozario set a national mark of 12.16m in the women's triple jump, bettering Wendy Enn's 2017 mark of 12.05m.

Both records are pending ratification by Singapore Athletics.

Ang revealed that cramps had started to set in even before the race, and that he had told himself to "just keep moving" when both his legs cramped mid-race.

"I did what I could to get to the finish line and when I saw the time I was super happy," said Ang, who raised both arms upon seeing his time on the scoreboard at the National Stadium.

On lowering the national record twice yesterday, he said: "Both are significant to me - the first one because my technical execution was good in the latter part of the race, the second I'm equally happy because it's a new record.

"You have to control the chaos that happens in the race, (when) things don't go your way, you just have to get your job done and do it well."

His previous record of 14.36s was at the same event last year, and he said after the heats yesterday that he was glad to have executed his sprinting technique in between hurdles well during a competitive meet.

He will compete at next month's Asian Championships in Doha, after which he will focus on November's SEA Games in the Philippines.

"I'm going to take a little downtime to train again (after the Asian Championships), put in the volume and, when my body gets stronger, I'll start to sharpen up," added Ang, a medical student at the National University of Singapore.

Also pleased with her performance yesterday was Shanti Pereira, who finish second in the women's 200m in 23.85s.

The 22-year-old had been aiming for a sub-24 second time before the Singapore Open and felt yesterday's race bodes well for the rest of her season.

"It's a really good start for me," said Pereira, the 2017 SEA Games bronze medallist. "It means my preparation was good and it's a good base to see what else I can improve on and how I can improve in terms of timing."

OTHER SPORTS