Hurdler Marc wins Singapore's first gold at Asian youth meet
He was not competing in his pet event, and this made hurdler Marc Brian Louis' feat at the Asian Youth Athletics Championships all the more remarkable.
The ITE College Central student, 16, became Singapore's first gold medallist when he clocked 55.09 seconds to win the boys' 400m hurdles in the third edition of the championships at the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground in Hong Kong yesterday.
He finished ahead of Henry Chun Wai Fung (55.26sec) from the host city, and Qatar's Mohd E. B. Fahad Al-Abdulla (55.28sec).
"I wasn't expecting a medal because I don't focus my training on the 400m hurdles," Marc told The Straits Times. "I don't really work on the endurance needed."
His pet event is the 110m hurdles, where he set a national boys' Under-18 record of 13.74sec en route to a bronze medal on Friday.
With two wins in the 400m hurdles - he also won gold at the South-east Asian Youth Championships in the Philippines two weeks ago - Marc said he would discuss with his coach Benber Dayao Yu if he should focus more on the longer-distance event.
Team manager Poh Seng Song, who is Singapore Athletics' (SA) vice-president (finance and partnership) said the key to Marc's win was good pacing.
"He was in Lane One, which is not an easy lane (because it is too tight for runners on the curve), but he ran his own race and his pacing was very good," said Poh, a former national sprinter.
Five other athletes recorded personal bests - triple jumpers Ann Lee Shyann Wai (11.70 metres) and Tan Tse Teng (11.53m), 400m hurdler Tyeisha Rene Misson Khoo (67.10sec) and 800m runner Brandon Norton (1min 59.74sec).
Pole vaulter Christy Robyn Su-Ann equalled her personal best of 3.05m. - SAZALI ABDUL AZIZ