2,000m STEEPLECHASE: Negri runner too good for rivals
NEGRI Sembilan’s Devin Roy Vincent established himself as one of the stars of the Malaysian Schools Athletics Championships after slashing almost 10 seconds off the boys’ Under-15 2,000m steeplechase record in Alor Star yesterday.
Devin blew away the rivals as he romped to the gold in six minutes 18.57s, erasing the mark of 6:27.53s set by Syed Muhammad Nazrul Izzudin Syed Yahya (Pahang) three years ago.
His Negri teammate Muhammad Zaqwan Mohd Yusof came in a distant second at the Darulaman Stadium on 6:35.70s while Kuala Lumpur’s Marc Anand Stanley finished third on 6:43.24s.
A confident Devin, who also broke the 1,500m games record en route to winning the event on Monday, said he was delighted with his achievements, after having ended the competition without a medal last year.
The SMK Bukit Mewah student had also emerged victorious in the Malaysian Schools Cross Country Championships in Sabah in March.
“I am very happy with my performance today. I came here wanting to win and break records and although I finished second in the 800m, getting the 1,500m and 2,000m steeplechase gold is a great achievement for me,” said the 15-year-old.
“I was not anywhere near the medals last year but I changed my training routine drastically and focused more on improving my long runs and race pace.
“I really have to thank my teacher Elizabeth Chong and Negri Sembilan coach R. Mohan for helping develop me in the sport as without their support and guidance, I could not have done it.”
Devin clocked 4:12.48s in the 1,500m final, bettering the old mark of 4:13.77s set by Pahang’s Saranraj Sivamani in 2010. Kedah’s Mathan Raj Sugumaran (4:20.04s) and Negri’s Muhammad Zaqwan Mohd Yusof (4:24.80s) finished second and third respectively.
Perak’s Under-18 girls were also in top form as they rewrote their own games record en route to winning the 4x100m final.
Sarawak’s Queenie Ting Kung Ni reasserted the state’s dominance in the girls discus as she broke her own record in the under-18 category yesterday. Queenie’s 44.02 metre effort gave her a comfortable win and bettered the 40.78m games record she set last year.
Pahang’s Chin Poh Kuan (34.78) and Sarawak’s Betty Hoong King Ching (30.85m) took silver and bronze respectively.
“I have been working closely on my technique and it has helped me a lot,” said the SM Tinggi Sarikei student.
Fellow Sarikei athlete Grace Wong had on Monday bettered her own record in the under-15 as she clinched gold in the discus event as well.
Defending champions Sarawak look set to retain their overall title going into the final round of competition today. They hold a comfortable lead with 14 gold, seven silver and 11 bronze while second-placed Selangor are a distance second on eight gold, five silver and six bronze. Terengganu (7-5-4) are currently third.