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Jackie and Grace break national records in S. Korea


Shattering throw: Jackie Wong Siew Cheer posing with the board showing his winning mark in the men’s hammer throw at the Jeollanam-do Track and Field Athletics Championships in South Korea yesterday.

Shattering throw: Jackie Wong Siew Cheer posing with the board showing his winning mark in the men’s hammer throw at the Jeollanam-do Track and Field Athletics Championships in South Korea yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Jackie Wong Siew Cheer and Grace Wong Xiu Mei have laid down an early marker for this year’s KL SEA Games.

Both the Sarawak hammer throwers broke the men and women’s national records in the Jeollanam-do Track and Field Athletics Championships in Jeolla City, South Korea, yesterday.

The 23-year-old Jackie improved on his own mark by five centimetres after hurling the hammer to a distance of 64.55m en route to winning the gold. It erased his national mark of 64.50m set in the Pahang Open in Kuantan in March last year.

Surprisingly, Jackie wasn’t too pleased with his effort.

“My aim was to do better than the 65-metre mark ... I will continue to train hard to achieve it as I also want to do well in the SEA Games,” said Jackie, who has won three bronze medal from his last three SEA Games outings in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Jackie had competed in the Mokpo championships, also in South Korea, last week and won the gold with a throw of 63.68m.

Not to be outdone, the 16-year-old Grace then broke the six-year-old women’s national record by more than two metres yesterday.

Grace, who has a personal best of 57.76m, won gold with a 60.99m effort to better the old national mark of 58.71m set by Tan Song Hwa in the Dobo Athletics Championships in Szombathely, Hungary, in 2011.

Grace, a Form Four student of the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), was thrilled to bits with her effort.

“I now hold both the national junior and senior records in women’s hammer ... it really feels great,” said Grace, who only managed to record 55.98m to win the gold in the Mokpo meet last week.

“The six-week training stint in Mokpo since early last month has paid dividends. I came here to improve on my personal best (57.76m) ... I did not expect to improve on it by more than three metres to break the national record.

“I intend to maintain my form and win the gold medal in the SEA Games in August,” said Grace, who bagged bronze in the Singapore SEA Games in 2015.

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