Friendly rivalry

THE THREE MUSKETEERS: (From left to right) Rayhan Fairuz, Syazani Abdul Wahid and Edwin Tan dominated the boys’ B Division 200m final yesterday by taking all three podium spots for Singapore Sports School.

SINGAPORE - They may be fierce rivals on the track.

But, once the spikes are removed, they are close friends.

If anything, the boys from Singapore Sports School try and push each other in training and in competitions.

So, it was no surprise when three Sports School runners finished 1-2-3 in the boys’ B Division 200m final at the National Schools Track and Field Championships at Choa Chua Kang Stadium yesterday.

Syazani Abdul Wahid, 16, took the gold with a time of 23.00 seconds, with teammates Edwin Tan (23.29s) and Rayhan Fairuz (23.39s) coming in second and third respectively.


Syazani, 16, said that his teammates are more happy for him than envious of his achievement.

He said: “We’re good friends, so I’m not worried about any of them getting angry.

“We know we won’t take it personally, or get jealous over who wins the gold medal.

“In fact, we often have fun with one other by making silly challenges, such as who can do the most push-ups or run the fastest.”

For Edwin, 15, coming a close second can be disappointing, but he was consoled by the fact that his school dominated the podium.

He said: “Friendship always comes first.

“Of course, I’d be happier if I had won the gold, but I’m happy enough that our team did our best and we won all three medals.”

The trio were not the only ones who shone for the Sports School at yesterday’s championships.

Half of the six races in the 200m were won by Sports School athletes.

Kugapriya Chandran, 16, and Ismi Zakiah Kashful Anwar, 14, also clinched the girls’ B and C Divisions’ 200m titles respectively.

Not only did Kugapriya successfully defend her gold medal, she also set a meet record with a time of 25.51s, which was 0.13s faster than the previous mark set by her Singapore Sports School senior Eugenia Tan in 2012.

Ismi, who won her race in 26.26s, said that there is no internal race between the boys and the girls in school to see who would win more medals.

But she believes that the strong showings help create healthy competition among themselves.

She quipped: “Perhaps if the boys and girls train together, we can push one another even harder.”

This article was published on April 15 in The New Paper.

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