By Shamir Osman
Swimmers from the Singapore Sports School got off to a great start at the 11th Thailand Sports School Games in Khon Kaen yesterday, bagging 10 gold medals, five silvers and two bronzes from 14 events.
Dzulhaili Mohamed Kamal, 14, and Pang Sheng Jun, 15, were the star performers, emerging with two first-place finishes each.
Dzulhaili struck gold in the 50m backstroke and 100m freestyle events, while :Sheng Jun came out on top in the 800m freestyle and 200m butterfly.
Said the school’s swimming academy manager, Ng Kok Wei: “Our swimmers are not at peak form yet, but we’re still well prepared for this competition and will probably breach the set target of 21 gold medals.”
While the 10-day, 17-sport event features 14 sports schools from across Thailand, as well as Malaysia’s Bukit Jalil Sports School and Banda Penawar Sports School and the Singapore Sports School, the swimming schedule has been cut from 120 events to just 40.
The schedule was cut because only four local schools and the Singapore school are competing in swimming.
Said Ng: “We expected four golds from the relay events but due to poor subscription, all relay events have been cancelled. Still, if nothing goes wrong, our target is still achievable.”
While happy with his feat, Dzulhaili, the national under-14 50m butterfly record holder, is aiming for something bigger. He said: “The big one coming up is the 50m butterfly. I aim to clock a personal best (26.98) in that race.”
In other sports, the school’s under-14 table tennis girls struck gold in the team event, while the under-16s took home the silver.
In track and field, the school’s athletes bagged two golds, three silvers and two bronzes. T Priyah, 16, stormed to a win in the under-16 400m event, clocking a time of 58.29s, while 14-year-old Goh Wei Ning won the under-14 girls 100m hurdles in 15.51s.
Overall, the Singapore Sports School have won 13 golds, eight silvers and five bronze medals so far at the event, which is scheduled to end on Aug 6.