Athletics : Amran the unlikely hero in international meet

SWEET REVENGE: Filepic shows Abdul Hadi Roslan (left) en route to beating Amran Raj during the MSSM U-18 400m in May. Yesterday, Amran turned the table on his rival to win gold at the Asean Schools Track and Field Championships in Singapore.

SINGAPORE: At the Malaysian Schools championship (MSSM) at Penang’s City Stadium in May a nervous Abdul Hadi Roslan of Negri Sembilan vomited before the boys’ Under-18 400m final but still went on to win against his rival K. Amran Raj of Perak. 

Yesterday on the final day of the Asean Schools Track and Field Championships at the Chua Chu Kang Stadium, Abdul Hadi was again in the limelight.  

He vomited again and went back to the starting block. He was seen as Malaysia’s hope after his MSSM success. 

But it turned out to be a different scenario in Singapore as Abdul Hadi pulled out of the race after 50 metres with a hamstring injury. 

Shock was written on the faces of the Malaysian team officials. But it soon turned to smiles.  

For there was Amran to carry on the challenge and the Perak youngster was in front and touched home in a personal best of 48.15 to win the gold medal. 

His previous best was 48.60 which he did at last year’s Sukma (Malaysia Games) in Seremban.  

Thailand’s Teerawet Tawanha clocked 49.22 for the silver while compatriot Parinya Kongdee (49.27) settled for the bronze. 

At about the same time Firdaus Jalak was battling it out for the gold in the boys’ javelin. He finally won with a throw of 60.50m.  

It was not his best, having done 62m and 63m before but it did not matter for him and Malaysia. 

The two-gold haul in the morning events was a bright start for the Malaysians but Thailand and hosts Singapore matched Malaysia’s efforts for an equal share of the pie by winning two golds each in the six finals that were decided in the morning.  

But the gloom set in after this when Wong Boon Syian failed to defend her title in the girls’ high jump.  

The defending Asean Schools champion and record holder went in as a three-time champion, having won in Brunei (2002), Jakarta (2003) and in Kuching last year. 

Yesterday, the Johor lass, had come to Singapore carrying an injury sustained during gym training.  

It was a last minute decision to take part and it turned out to be a bad decision. 

At the end of the day she had to settle for silver after clearing 1.66m and that too via a countback after she tied with Thailand’s Sukanya Chomchuendee.  

Singapore’s Michelle Sng Suat Li took gold with a 1.69m jump which was far below Boon Syian’s Asean Schools record of 1.74m set in Jakarta two years ago. 

“Frankly, I was not focussed. I was mentally affected by the injury. I am disappointed but I have to move on. I will be sitting for my SPM examinations in November. Now, I am not sure if I will compete in the MAAU meet in September because it will clash with the trial exams,” said Boon Syian, whose best this year is 1.72m. 

She will however be competing in the Thailand Sports School invitational in Bangkok from Aug 15-18. 

At the shot putt pit Malaysia’s Siti Nurul Ain Abdul Rahim and Rahilah Othman could not stop Singapore iron girl Wan Lay Chi from taking the gold with a throw of 12.35m. Siti Nurul heaved the iron ball to 11.68m which brought her the silver while Rahilah (11.38m) took the bronze. 

M. Balu picked up the last gold medal in the last event of the day, the 2,000m steeplechase to make it a tally of 10 gold medals for the country.  

Thailand emerged overall champions again with a 17-11-3 haul.  

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