Sprinter Calvin Kang: 'The big goal is the national record'
Sprinter Kang clocks creditable time in best start to a season and sets big targets for the year
It was his first race in six months.
Showing no signs of rustiness, national sprinter Calvin Kang exceeded his own expectations by clocking 10.64 seconds in the men's 100m open at the Singapore Athletics Track and Field Series 1 meet at Choa Chu Kang Stadium yesterday morning.
The 26-year-old's last race was at the same venue, but he could only clock a 10.91 in wet conditions during the Asean University Games (AUG) on July 15. Yesterday's creditable time was close to his best time of 10.58 clocked last year.
Kang's personal best is 10.47, which placed him fourth at the 2015 South-east Asia (SEA) Games on home soil.
"It (10.64) is my best ever start to a season, and I'm pleasantly surprised," he told The New Paper after the race.
"It's my first run after a long time, and I'm still getting used to the rhythm again.
"It was also pretty early in the morning, and I felt a bit stiff.
"But I know I had good training over the past few months and I had been working on some of my weaknesses."
Despite yesterday's effort, Kang is still not assured of a spot at August's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Singapore Athletics' (SA) benchmark to qualify is the bronze-medal mark at the last SEA Games, which was 10.45.
Athletes have to meet the respective times or distances in their events by May 31 to be considered for selection.
SA president Ho Mun Cheong told TNP: "Let's take it step by step. If the runners can't qualify, then we'll have to appeal to SNOC (Singapore National Olympic Council).
"But it is still early, and there are still a lot of meets for them to try and meet the mark."
Ho added that another way 100m hopefuls can get around the tough individual qualifying mark is for them to qualify as part of the 4x100m relay team, who would have to clock 39.32.
A strong showing in the men's 100m at the SEA Games in August would be the perfect way for Kang to wind down his track career.
After the AUG, he took two months to recover and recuperate, before heading back into training. He also helmed the Singapore launch of sports data measurement company Global Talent Track.
Said Kang: "I'm getting to the tail end of my time in athletics.
"I've been running for 15 years... This year, my focus will simply be on bettering my times.
"The big goal is still the national record (10.37)."
Meanwhile, Singapore's reigning SEA Games 200m champion Veronica Shanti Pereira booked her spot for the 100m event in Kuala Lumpur, with two good races at the Potts Classic in New Zealand on Saturday.
The 20-year-old, who holds the national record in both the 100m (11.80) and 200m (23.60) events, clocked 11.85 in the heats, and then 11.78 in the final, although the latter race was run in illegal wind conditions.
The two timings were quicker than her bronze-medal mark of 11.88 set at the 2015 Games in Singapore, which is also the qualifying time for selection.