Ruben Loganathan wins race that’s re-run after miscommunication
Ruben Loganathan had given up on winning a medal in the Schools Nationals Boys' A Division 3,000m steeplechase on Monday, after the bell was mistakenly sounded one lap too early at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
Upon hearing the bell, signalling the start of the final lap, the 17-year-old and his competitors had sprinted through what they thought was the last lap, only to be told there was one more to go.
The Anderson Serangoon Junior College (ASRJC) student continued running and eventually won the race, but officials then decided that the race had to be rerun.
While disappointed, Ruben picked himself up and won the second race yesterday at the National Stadium in 10 minutes 24.84 seconds.
Hwa Chong Institution's Joshua Rajendran (10:36.91) and Raffles Institution's Armand Dhilawala Mohan (10:48.21) were second and third respectively.
Ruben said yesterday: "I gave up on winning a medal (on Monday)... I was really happy to finish first that day, until I realised we had to run again."
"But today was a good race, one I've been planning for the past four days. I don't have a (track and field) team in my school, but the fact that I have my family, friends and teachers supporting me - that's the reason I was so hungry for the win."
Athletics is not an official CCA at ASRJC, and Ruben does most of his training alone, occasionally running with a group called the Kampong Runners. The group, comprising working adults as well as some of Ruben's former teammates from Guangyang Secondary School, are like a second family to him.
His focus is now on next month's Schools National Cross Country Championships, where he is the Boys' A Division defending champion.
Singapore Athletics' vice-president (competitions organising) S. Govindaraju told The Straits Times the mistake was the result of a miscommunication between the SA technical official counting the number of laps and the one recording the number of laps.
He then consulted representatives from the Ministry of Education and the schools involved, apologising and explaining that the rules allowed for athletes to rerun the race on a different day.
"There was a serious mistake and it affected the athletes' performance overall," he said.
"We have to ensure that the lap recorder and lap counter are on the same side of the track and close to each other, to make sure this doesn't happen again."