Miri takes commanding lead in schools championship

Captains leading all the athletes in taking the championship oath during the opening ceremony at Unimas Stadium on Tuesday.

Captains leading all the athletes in taking the championship oath during the opening ceremony at Unimas Stadium on Tuesday.

Nurhaziqah Izzati Zana

Nurhaziqah Izzati Zana

Mohd Norhazim Ahmad

Mohd Norhazim Ahmad

KUCHING: Miri athletes stole most of the limelight on the opening day of the 44th Sarawak Inter-Division Schools Track and Field Championships at the Unimas Stadium on Tuesday. A total of eight new records were created.

Nurhaziqah Izzati Zana led the way by smashing the old record of 11.09m in the girl’s U-15 triple jump with a new distance of 11.79m. Teammate Yong Sie Liang threw 45.50m in the boy’s U-14 discus to erase Ngu Ing Biao’s two-year-old record of 44.87m. In the boy’s U-14 high jump, Darren Radin cleared 1.81m to surpass the old mark by 3cm.

Meanwhile, Ing Biao, who is from Sarikei, threw 49.55m to establish a new record in the U-18 event. In the girl’s U-15 shot put, Kuching’s Chung Woon Shyen broke through the 12m barrier to register a new standard of 12.08m.

On the track it was Kuching’s Mohd Norhazim Ahmad who created a sensation in the 200m hurdles for boy’s U-15. His new record time of 24.73sec was also better than the MSSM (national schools) record of 24.92sec.

Miri athletes also showed their depth of talent in the girl’s U-14 200m hurdles.

In the semi-finals, Evelyne Tan went under the existing record by over a second with a time of 29.58sec. But she was pipped by 0.2sec in the final by her SMK Chung Hua schoolmate Veralyna Bill who clocked 31.6sec.

Much excitement on the track was generated in the 100m finals.

Only one new record was registered out of the eight finals.

That singular honour went to Miri’s Royhannes Jefferey who won the boy’s U-14 race with a time of 11.2sec.

Kuching’s Asly Chua ran a personal best of 10.7sec to win the boy’s U-18 title. Sheamaker Dilip (Bintulu) and Philiphe Albert (Miri) also dipped below 11sec by freezing the stopwatch in an identical time of 10.8sec.

There were several other impressive times recorded particularly among the girls.

In the U-18 final, Mandy Goh Li and Gladys Then made it a 1-2 finish for Kuching with 12.7 and 12.8sec respectively.

Yet they were out-performed by the younger U-15 sprinters. The versatile Nurhaziqah won that final in 12.2sec ahead of Kuching’s Dana River Yu who clocked 12.4. Kuching’s Myranda Najja won the U-14 final in 12.9sec.

In the team overall standings, Miri has a comfortable lead after the morning events on the second day (April 6). The division had collected 11 gold, 9 silver and 13 bronze medals for a total of 154 points.

Kuching’s total was 112.5 points from their 9-6-3 medal tally. Sarikei was trailing in third place with 76 points (4-5-5). Except for Mukah and Serian, all the other teams – Bintulu, Sibu, Samarahan, Kapit, Limbang, Sri Aman and Betong – have won at least one gold medal each.

A total of 867 athletes are taking part in the championships which was declared open by State Education deputy director Abang Ahmad Ali Abang Masagus. The four-day meet will end on Friday afternoon.