Athletics: Jannah on the mark

Another Singapore national record fell at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Taiwan.

Two days after Zubin Muncherji set a new national record of 47.29 sec in the men's 400m, another 17-year-old, Raffles Institution student Jannah Wong, rewrote the women's 100m hurdles national mark when she finished third in 14.14 sec.

The previous record of 14.29 was set by Dipna Lim-Prasad in May 2011, also in the same country when she competed in the Taiwan Open.

Speaking to The New Paper after her feat, Jannah (above, right) said: "It's a shock to me, but I feel blessed.

"All I was hoping for was to clock a personal best. I didn't expect I'd be able to break the national record so soon."

Jannah's performance in the final was all the more remarkable considering she was exceptionally jittery just before the race.

"I was quite panicky before the run. I qualified with the third-best time, so there was pressure on me to get a podium finish," she said.

She had clocked 14.43 in the semi-finals, which had bettered her previous personal best of 14.69, set in April at the National Schools Track and Field Championships.

But she ran a sterling race in the final to finish behind Japan's Mako Fukube and India's Meghana Shetty.

Jannah's time means she has qualified for the IAAF World Junior Championships - an Under-19 meet - in Oregon, United States, next month.

While she ran in the meet last year, she is unsure if she will do so this time around because of academic commitments.

"I would love to go, but I am taking my 'A' Levels this year so I am not sure if I should," she said.

"I'll have to come back home and discuss it with my parents and coach (Melvin Tan) first."

Singapore's track and field athletes have been putting on a good show in Taiwan over the past week.

Apart from Zubin and Jannah's new records, sprint queen Shanti Pereira clocked 11.79 sec in the 100m when she won bronze on Friday.

The time eclipsed her national record of 11.89, but was not ratified as the wind conditions were recorded at +3m/s.

According to IAAF regulations, sprint and jump performances with a wind-speed that exceeds +2.0m/s cannot be ratified for records.

Yesterday, jumper Carmel Teo also set a new Under-23 and Under-19 record of 3.45m in the women's pole vault.

The 4x100m women's team of Jannah, Shanti, C Kugapriya and Eugenia Tan also set a new junior record of 46.78, just 0.1 off the Under-23 record.

This article was first published on June 15, 2014.
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