Reported by: Koh Pin Lang
Edited by: Victor Lee
Today marks the end of the Inter Hall Games (IHG) with the final sport, athletics. Though I must confess that I didn’t put too much hope into KE winning at this particular sport, I must say that we did a fabulous job for a team that is at most weeks old. Our athletes gathered at the SRC track in the late afternoon, eager to complete the last stretch of battle with the other 5 halls. Though athletes from other halls were running on the track and practicing their baton passes, our athletes seemed remarkably calm and relax as they stretched in preparation for the subsequent races.
Before long the 4 x 100m males, CK, Isaac, Arjun and JK (in order of running) were ready to roll. The crowd waited in anticipation as the athletes took their starting positions on the track. With the blast of the horn, they were off. CK was swift on his feet and was running as hard as he could. He almost overtook SH before handing the baton to Isaac, who sprinted off immediately. However, the second runner of SH was incredibly fast, making it difficult for Isaac to shorten the gap. The brief lag in baton passing between Isaac and Arjun compounded the gap. Fortunately Arjun, with his long strides, ate up the distance between us and other halls quickly and soon we were back in close competition with the other halls. As JK, our last athlete took the baton our supporters cheered and screamed. With our view of JK blocked by hordes of EH supporters, we could only wait nervously while JK sprinted towards the finish line. Much to our delight, JK was well ahead of KR, with SH nowhere in sight. Indeed, we never saw the fourth SH runner come in, which lead to a moment of confusion for the conveyors. However, we couldn’t care less except for the fact that we were fourth!
This 4 x 100m females race was relatively uneventful. As soon as the horn sounded, the girls were off. Veronica was our first runner but she was quickly overtaken by the KR, EH and RH. However, she gave it her all and tried to shorten as much of the gap as possible. Germaine was up next. Like a little swallow, she flew across the track in an attempt to catch up with the rest of the halls, which were unfortunately far ahead of her. At this point in time, SH was lagging badly and it seemed to me that it was unlikely for KE to be last in this race. We had a change in fortune with our third runner, Sarah. Formerly a sprinter, she dashed off immediately with the baton in hand. With our terrible spectator position, we only managed to see the end of the race where Cherli completed the race, leaving us in 5th position.
The 4 x 400m males race was particularly interesting. With a long distance of 400m, this race represents a real challenge. First up was Isaac. Having run the first race of 4 x 100m, I admired his endurance to run a second time. Though he was off on a good start, KR’s runner was well ahead of all other halls and Isaac’s speed had slowed down, leaving us with another gap to shorten. Feng Fei was our second runner and he tried to narrow the distance. However, much to our dismay, the gap continued to widen. With the uncomfortable notion of a possible last place, our third runner, Eddie, was determined to change our fates. He sprinted off quickly but at this point in time, we were lagging by more than 100m. Our last runner Prakash gave it his all but the gap was too wide and we ended up last.
A fresh start with the 4 x 400m females gave us hope to redeem ourselves from this nasty position of last place. Bee started off the race effortlessly, overtaking RH. As the athletes made their way back to the starting line, the supporters from all halls cheered. EH and TH came in neck-to-neck while the SH runner almost collapsed after handing her baton. Our second runner, Sharlene, was highly pressured by second SH runner, who tried closing the gap. However, we managed to fend off this possibility when Vicki took the baton, dashing off as swiftly as a comet. At this point in time, TH, EH and KR were well ahead of us with the runner of each hall well separated from each other. It was clear that we have redeemed ourselves with a fourth place. Vicki came running with a slight smile on her face before sending Sophie off with the baton. Sophie though small, was packed with speed but by the time she completed 200m, the last EH runner was already back at the finishing line. We came in 4th.
The last race was the medley run, which consisted of 100m female, 100m male, 200m male, 400m female, 800m female and 800m male. The initial start of this medley was slightly disappointing as Cherli was outrun by the other halls. However, KEViians remained supportive as we cheered her on. JK was up next and he dashed off in bid to narrow the distance. But a 100m seemed too short a distance to narrow the gap as the fresh runners from other halls took off again. Arjun’s long legs were assets and we quickly gained on TH and overtook them in the 200m race. Next, Dolly overtook KR and SH. Unfortunately, TH managed to overtake us yet again, leaving us 4th in the race. By the time Bee took the reins for 800m, EH was at least 200m ahead of everyone. After a distance of 300m, KR’s runner seemed to be making a move on Bee in an attempt to narrow the gap. However, Bee remained calm and unfazed. Another 200m later, KR was lagging and well behind us. The last male in this race was Terence. At this point in time, the SH 800m female runner was embarrassingly lapped by EH and TH’s last runner. RH remained close in sight of KE and we were pinning our hopes on Terence. However, RH’s last runner was Madhan, previously from KE and he is an insanely fast sprinter. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Terence was quick on his feet and gave his all to catch up with Madhan. After about 400m, the positions for each hall were more or less fixed. EH and TH’s runner had returned while RH, KE and KR were well spread with about 200m between each other. For our efforts, we won ourselves a fourth place.
All in all, our males were awarded a 5th place while our females got a 4th place, which lead to an overall position of 4th. For a team formed in haste, we performed wonderfully well. Kudos to the athletes who ran their hearts out, you guys were FABULOUS!