OrienteeringSG’s biggest overseas contingent
Held between 6th – 8th December 2019, Team Singapore headed up to Kuala Lumpur for the last event of the Malaysian’s race calendar – UiTM International Orienteering Championships 2019.
Coincidentally, this is also Singapore’s biggest contingent at any international race so far. The whole entourage comprise a record number of 26 athletes (10 Juniors, 13 Youths, 3 Elites) and 3 coaches for this journey.
The entire event was held within the UiTM Shah Alam’s campus with two days of competitive races. Day one was an individual sprint event (also the WRE event) followed by a team relay on the second day of the event. Many of the youths are experiencing a formal orienteering race for the first time in their life while the juniors are still fresh from their experiences in the AsJYOC held earlier in August.
Race Day 1 – Sprint Individual
The athletes are divided into their competitive categories. For this event, there are only two categories that is applicable for us – the Under 18 and the Elite class. Hence, some last minute shuffling of the team’s position were made and everyone got their race bibs ready to start.
As typical of races in this region, available information about the race was limited and the coaches were seen scurrying around for start lists and amenities info. Nonetheless, everyone figured things out and started the race.
The terrain was an interesting mix of hilly contours coupled with buildings and recreational areas. The map had been an improved version of what we had expected and the feedback from all runners were positive (though some had issues about accuracy and race fairness).
Race result for Day 1 :
- M18 Category: Azhad (1st), Mikhail (2nd), Junxiang (3rd) – All Singapore podium
- W18 Category: Grace (1st), Qiman (2nd), Natasha (3rd) – All Singapore podium
Elite Category M21:
- Peng Hsian Tsai, Taiwan (1st)
- Azam Mohd Shidid, Malaysia (2nd)
- Thng Yan Han, Singapore (3rd)
Well done Team Singapore!
The day ended on an invitation for a dinner by the host where the team unwinded to great musical vibes and a feast for their stomachs.
Day 2 – Team Relay
Going into the last day of the competitions, the format was a relay with 2 male, 2 female runners to make up a team. There were no age restrictions and the team was regrouped by their abilities.
As we do not have enough female runners, the coaches took the chance to organise groupings with runners from the Malaysian and Indonesian teams. Our friends, Dirk & Linda also took part and ran under the Singapore flag too 🙂
Starting the relay was by a female member of the team and in a mass start format. Representing Singapore were Sharlene, Natasha, Grace, Zi En, Roxanne, Yik Yi. There are a total of 6 teams.
Tragedy strike (then) a blessing
Unfortunately, Sharlene representing the first team got into a problem (twisted her ankle while negotiating a steep downslope) halfway into her leg as the first runner. However despite the immense pain, she completed her course with full CP scores and managed to pass on to her team mates – We are still in the running!
Counting it as a blessing in disguise, the remaining team mates – Yan Han, Dirk and Linda powered through their legs and pull the team back into the lead. The final result proved to be to-good-to-be-true as Team Singapore secured the 3rd position on the relay podium – narrowly edging out the Malaysian teams.
The other teams did fairly well — leaving with a 7th, 8th, 9th position too! Well done Team Singapore for the race!
Results from Relay:
- 1st Place – Chinese Taipei
- 2nd Place – Chinese Taipei + Indonesia
- 3rd Place – Singapore + Belgium
Other Light – hearted moments:
Post Race Thoughts
The two days of competition by the team had been an impressive showing by our junior, youths and adult runners. Even though the team did not manage to organise many training sessions locally, it is a resounding victory with 2 golds, 2 silvers, 3 bronze and an additional team bronze medals to bring home.
More importantly, these two days have helped the team to gain competition experiences and build camaraderie among each other. As a young federation, these are important foundations for us to build on.
We also like to thank the many friends we met on & off the competition and we look forward to more meetings with each and one of you soon.
Lastly, to the UiTM organisers and our friends from Malaysia Orienteering — Thank you for organising this great event. We will meet again next year!
Till then, rest well team! Enjoy the festivities!
Blogged by Eugene Chow