Monday, April 18, 2016

3000m National Age Group Record - Will it stay intact?

By Rameshon

Jeffrey Ng - 3000m National Age Group Record for under 17 boys, still intact. 
Jeffrey Ng's 3000m record of 9min 21sec (2003) has stood the test of time. 

Let us look at the 3000m under 17 boy's record and study on the standard that it is now. For me, how Singapore is going to fair in the future comes from the 3000m race, especially the under 17 and under 20 race. 

I believe that other distance events are suffering as well, after I watched several 800m races and the 3000m walk, yesterday, as well. 

A few years back, around year 1996 to year 2011, the time was around 9min 30sec to 9min 40sec in 3000m race for top 3 runners for boys. Even under 14 boys delivered a sub - 10min easily. Lately, the timings have not really shown much improvement. I am trying to find out what could be the reason, and write in the upcoming blog post.

Looking at the 3000m race, this year for under 17 boys, the runner who went very close to the record, as I can remember was, to my perception, is Karthik. Jeffrey Ng himself, came to see this race a few years ago. The 9min 21sec timing showed that it stood the test of time, till now. 

Mok Ying Ren and Soh Rui Yong, both, gold medalists in Myanmar SEA Games 2013 and Singapore SEA Games 2015, respectively, have tried for the record and were not able to break it. However they did some commendable times for the 3000m race or under 14, under 17 and under 20 boys. 

For this year, we have Syed Hussein, 2016 National Schools' Cross - Country under 17 boys winner who will be running in National Track and Field 3000m championships. It was mentioned that he is going for the record. This is something positive. After seeing the race, I found that there is a lot of work which needs to be done, as Hussein ran much faster than all the individual top 20 athletes of under 20 boys in National Schools' Cross Country Championships. This was a feat that has honour in it. Hussein is setting the benchmark. However, the time he did 9min 59sec, shows that Hussein needs to train a lot to acclimatise to the weather, as the race is usually in the hot sun, frequently. I have been noticing this for a long time. Runners need to train in the hot sun to do well in hot sun. 

As for Hussein, tomorrow's race may end up as a solo race unless someone pushes him. The closest to push Hussein is Ruben. Armand, 3000m under 14 boys' race winner in year 2015, will not taking part in this race as he will race in 1500m and 2000m steeplechase race. 

We just hope that the race is run such that at least 8 athletes do sub- 10min, which is a minimal target for Singaporean athletes.