Devin Roy Vincent of Negri Sembilan celebrates after winning the MSSM Track and Field Championships boys' Under-15 2,000m steeplechase event at the Darulaman Stadium. - Loganath Velloo/THE STAR
ALOR SETAR: Negri Sembilan’s Devin Roy Vincent capped a memorable outing in the National Schools Sports Council (MSSM) Track and Field Championships by breaking a second meet record in the boys’ Under-15 category.
Just a day after rewriting the Under-15 1,500m record, Devin smashed the 2,000m steeplechase record with a 6:18.57 finish at the Darulaman Stadium on Tuesday.
The 15-year-old shaved an astonishing 8.96 seconds off the 6:27.53 previous record set by Syed Muhd Nazrul Izzuddin of Pahang in 2011.
Devin crossed the finish line more than 150m ahead of his team-mate Muhammad Zaqwan Yusoff (6:35.70), with Kuala Lumpur’s Marc Anand Stanley coming in third (6:43.24).
“After clinching the 1,500m record yesterday, I had set my mind on going for the steeplechase record and my plan worked to perfection. The only surprise was that I won with such ease,” said the SMK Bukit Mewah Seremban student.
Devin is at a loss to explain his sudden burst of form at this year’s championships. He had also won the 800m silver medal earlier in the meet.
“Last year, I only took part in the steeplechase and finished fifth. I don’t know what I did differently in training since then, but it has worked wonders for me.
“I have to thank the (Negri) state coach R. Mohan and my school coach Elizabeth Chong for believing in my abilities and turning me into a champion. I want to break more records when I move up to the Under-18 category next year,” said Devin.
Selangor’s Asif Rahman Jiyaudeen has a set of all the 2014 MSSM medal colours after adding the boys’ Under-18 3,000m steeplechase gold to his collection.
The 16-year-old Bukit Jalil Sports School student had earlier won a silver in the 1,500m and a bronze in the 800m.
“I started off the championships with a bronze, and then moved up to silver. I had a good feeling that I would nail the gold in the steeplechase today and my instincts were right. Next year, I intend to go one step further by breaking the meet record in this event,” said Asif.
He won in 10:05.42, ahead of Perak’s Manihselvan Sivakumar (10:17.42) and Kedah’s Muneswaran Subramaniam (10:17.55).
Perak’s Munirah Ali also hit the golden jackpot in the girls’ open category 2,000m steeplechase. She had earlier finished empty-handed in the 1,500m and won a bronze in the 3,000m.
“I was utilising the other two middle distance races to get ready for the steeplechase, which is my favourite event. I am happy to have pulled it off,” said the Bukit Jalil Sports School student.
Munirah, who won in 7:50.73, prevented Kedah’s Teoh Kim Chyi from bagging her third gold medal at the meet. Kim Chyi, the girls’ Under-18 800m and 1,500m champion in Alor Setar, took the silver in 8:04.29 while Sabah’s Fatin Adnie Lylla came home third in 8:04.79.