Imagine being in one of the only 80 stadium in the world that is a IAAF certified level one track. This stadium has a capacity of 66,000 plus, now imagine all the seats are all filled-up.
Next add deafening sounds of the rapturous crowd cheering for you. With that many supporters, you can’t help but being blinded by the seemingly countless camera flashlights.
Sounds amazing, you bet it is. This is every athletes dream, the mecca of one sporting career to be at such a big stage to showcase your talent be it on the track or field, and two of our local athlete will have that unique experience come this August 27th to September 4th.
The biggest athletic event of the year, the 13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics will be held in Daegu, Korea.
National triple jumper Stefan Tseng, and sprinter Dipna Lim-Prasad will be Daegu bound, pending IAAF approval.
Although none of our Team Singapore athletes were able to meet the 13th IAAF World Championships qualifying mark, the duo was nominated by Singapore Athletic Association after becoming the top male and female best performer at SAA’s inaugural 1st Singapore U23/Open Championship.
As part of SAA Training & Selection committee initiative of fair and transparent selection, two top male and female athlete with the highest points based on IAAF outdoor scoring table 2008 edition were to be selected to represent Singapore in Korea under “unqualified athletes”.
IAAF has allotted one unqualified male athlete and/or one unqualified female athlete for each country, however the acceptance of unqualified entries in the Field Events is at the discretion of the Technical Delegates.
Stefan Tseng jumped 15.87m 0.0m/s in the men’s triple jump event to accumulate 1033 points, while Dipna topped the female rankings with two best performing result, 974 points in the 200m (25.40s -2.2m/s) and 924 points in the 100m (12.64s -2.7m/s). Full rankings can be found here.
SAA had a chat with both athletes; Stefan who is heading to UK to study Human Biology at Loughborough University next year, and Dipna Lim-Prasad who will be a sophomore at NTU this coming school semester; on their goals, and expectation for the Championship:
Q) What are your thoughts on being best two performer at our first ever National Open?
Stefan: I guess it’s good to be back, I had a horrible season last year but I managed to do a SB (15.87m) this time round and I feel a lot better in terms of my fitness and mentality. I would like to say a big thanks to my coach Valeri for being very patient with me during this troubled one and a half years, and well basically we will work together to strive for gold this year.
Dipna: I’m pleased because the headwind was really strong (-2.7m/s for my 100m and -2.2m/s for my 200m) which made conditions very unfavorable. My times could’ve been better too so I wasn’t sure how I’d fare against everyone else in terms of points!
Q) Expectations & goals for the competition for World Champ.
Stefan: I’m really not expecting much in terms of overall position, but if given the chance, I would want to go all-out to get a PB and a national record to prepare myself for the SEA Games.
Dipna: Soak up as much experience as possible, learn from the best and take advantage of the world class facilities and competition to break the 14 seconds barrier for 100m hurdles. I would like to thank SAA for giving me this opportunity, and not forgetting my coach Viatcheslav Vassiliev for all his faith in me. For he’s not just simply good, but a great role model too.
Q) What do you think of the SAA selection policy for the World Champ?
Stefan: I think it is a lot fairer this time round. It has been really disappointing the past few years to see various people going to World Champs or Olympics without having a fair system. And through this system, it definitely shows the standards.
Dipna: I’m quite neutral. But I would think using an international (IAAF) scoring system which is available for download in addition to having a page dedicated to the competition on the SAA website that reflects the Association’s selection criteria and indicates any modifications/progress in the competition is transparent.