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It was Dipna-Lim Prasad’s first women 400 metres hurdles race of the year and her last outing for the event was in November of last year in 2012 at Thailand Open, but the lack of races didn’t deter the 22-year-old from chalking a new national record in the 0.762 metres hurdles height race.

Dipna return a timing of 60.58 seconds during the weekend proceedings of the 75th edition of the Singapore Open Track & Field Championships held at the Choa Chu Kang stadium.

The old mark previously stood at 61.69 seconds which was held by her training partner T. Piriyah, pending ratification by SAA.

Starting in Lane 4, the lanky lass record breaking performance improved her personal best by some 3.11 seconds, and slashed some 1.11 seconds off the 400 metres hurdles old record.

The NTU undergraduate had a splendid start, on par with the Japanese competitor, Ito Airi who was starting in the lane one behind her. Ito who will go on to win the 100m hurdles women event later in the Singapore Open this edition has a blistering personal best of 13.27 seconds in her pet event, finished second with a timing of 61.41 seconds in that race.

It was the push from a calibre athlete such as Ito was what Dipna needed and lack locally. From the start Ito pushed the pace from behind clearing the first hurdle ahead of anyone else while Dipna was just a heartbeat behind.

After the third hurdle, the diminutive Japanese Ito was already side by side Dipna but the Singapore Sports School alumni was unfazed and stuck to her race plan. Dipna commented, “Every run is different especially when it comes to hurdles I had to adjust my steps as I went along”.

And she did. Dipna coasted alongside Ito keeping up with the furious pace and at the fifth hurdle marker, the Japanese hurdler showed signs of fatigue, while Dipna was still in her element gaining ground.

But Ito wasn’t about to give up that easily, as for the next four hurdles there was a tit-for-tat response by both competitors, alternating to take the lead. It was only in the last 40 metres of the race that Dipna finally let loose a last surge of speed that Ito could keep pace with.

Dipna who started the race with an intention to improve her personal best but in the end was pleasantly surprised later on to find out that she broke the national record in the women 400 metres hursles event. She added post-race, “I wasn’t thinking about the record. My coach just told me to run my best. I think it’s more important to be more focus on process goals and not to worry about the outcome”.

Both Dipna and Piriyah are currently being coached by Viatcheslav Vassiliev.

When asked of what areas of her running can be improved in her quest to meet the qualifying time of the SEA Games women 400 metres hurdles event (59.64 seconds), Dipna added, “Probably getting the feel of my stepping”.

For your info Piriyah’s 61.69 seconds effort is still the women national junior record and in fact she was one the first to congratulate Dipna.

Dipna mentioned, “She [Piriyah] was really sweet. We’ve been friends for so many years. She congratulated me when she found out”.

Season-best
2013 – 60.58s, Singapore Open
2012 – 63.69s, Thailand Open

Related Links:
75th Singapore Open Track & Field Championships 2013 official page

singapore athletic association
singapore athletic association

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Founded in 1934, SA's historic footprints began more than 60 years ago when we opened our doors to Singapore's early athletes at the Farrer Park Stadium. Since then, the SA has toiled and grown, and is now poised to chart new territories for the future. Under the helm of a new dynamic team of volunteers and full-time secretariat, the association will take bold strides to nurture talents and work towards a holistic athlete development and making competitive athletics a viable career, read more »
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