Story and photos by Iman Hashim/Red Sports
Kallang Training Track, Friday April 29, 2022 – Despite multiple delays due to the lightning warning and the eventual postponement of the event to the next morning, Enoch Tew soared to the top to win the men’s pole vault. A division boys.
The freshman from Victoria Junior College (VJC) soared over 4.30 meters to conquer his competition, with the Raffles Institution (RI) trio of Rhineson Kok, Daniel Xiao and Liu Yucen coming in at 2-3-4 with clearances of 4.20 m, 3.95 m and 3.85 m respectively.
“Obviously we were all pretty annoyed by the lightning strike…because we did our warm up, we stopped, we warmed up, then they told us to go home…but I think we we did pretty well, because we’ve been in a few competitions and the same thing happened,” said Enoch, who started pole vaulting in Secondary 1 at Victoria School.
The event, which originally started at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday April 28, was first disrupted by the sound of the lightning warning system half an hour later, then resumed shortly after 4 p.m.
As the pole vaulters resumed their warm-ups and were eager to get going again, another flash alert a few jumps forced the postponement of the event to 9am the following morning – with athletes due to report at 7.30am.
Silver medalist Rhineson said: “Before yesterday’s competition, we were all very ready and mentally prepared, ready to fight for any position we could get, but because of the disruptions, all that mental preparation and this preparation just… I would say it was not there anymore.
“And the competition in the morning was pretty dreadful… so we had to mentally prepare again.”
In an event that was just a three-school affair with athletes from the VJC, RI and Hwa Chong Institution, Enoch and Rhineson were both above their competition as the only athletes to cross officially the four-meter barrier.
Both of them cleared 4.20m on their first try, before Rhineson left the competition at 4.30m. Enoch tried at 4.45m to surpass his personal best – which still stands at 4.40m set at the Singapore Athletics All-Comers Meet 1 in February this year – but by then he could already be satisfied gold.
“Usually we don’t compete at 7:30 a.m. so it was very tiring,” said Enoch, whose only silver at previous National Schools was a silver in Division C three years ago. years, before the pandemic forced the competition to be held in two. year off.
“My shins were hurting, my ankles were hurting, and on my first jump I actually shot my shoulder because I planted outside the box… so it wasn’t the ideal competition.
“But you stay calm and do your best,” he added.
Enoch also paid tribute to his teammates Joel Tan and Jonathan Quek as well as coach David Yeo who helped keep him motivated in the sport over the last two years when competitions were scarce.
“I also want to thank my competitors,” he added. “Pole vaulting is a very small but tight-knit community…and it’s really nice to compete with people who are all connected by the same sport and supporting each other.”
For Rhineson, it was more than a satisfying end to his journey as a schoolboy short-lived athlete, with this encounter only his second but final National Schools Championship after picking up pole vault in 3rd grade.
It was his first ever inter-school medal and the 4.20m he cleared was a huge personal competitive best compared to his previous mark of 4.02m.
“I think throughout training for the past two years, the end goal has always been to compete for national championships in JC1 or JC2. So I’m happy and grateful that we were able to jump this year,” said Rhineson.
63rd National Schools Athletics Championships 2022
A Div Boys Pole Vault Final
1st Tew Ci Yi Enoch (#314, Victoria Junior College) — 4.30 meters
2nd Rhineson Kok Ren Xiang (#238, Raffles Establishment) – 4.20
3rd Daniel Xiao Cheng’en (#214, Raffles Establishment) — 3.95
4th Liu Yucen (#231, Raffles Institution) — 3.85
5th Quek Yee Shian Jonathan (#308, Victoria Junior College) — 3.70
6th Tan Zu En Joel (#312, Victoria Junior College) — 3.55
Cheong Jay Keat (#120, Hwa Chong Settlement) — NM
Terng June Chih (#148, Hwa Chong Settlement) — NM
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