Sprinting quartet go under the 40 second barrier, target to break National Record after winning Singapore's first SEA Games relay medal in seven years
The new generation of Singapore Athletics men's 4x100m relay team comprising Marc Brian Louis, Joshua Chua, Ian Koe and Mark Lee. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG
Hanoi, Vietnam, 17 May 2022 - Clocking a time of 39.44 seconds, a youthful Singapore athletics men's 4x100m relay team comprising Marc Brian Louis, Joshua Chua, Mark Lee and Ian Koe clinched bronze at the 31st SEA Games athletics event at the My Dinh National Stadium on Monday evening (16 May).
It was the first time since 2015 that Singapore has medaled in the men's 4x100m relay event, with predecessors Calvin Kang, Gary Yeo, Muhammad Amirudin Jamal and Lee Cheng Wei famously clinching silver at the 28th SEA Games with a time of 39.32 seconds to set a new national record.
The feat is all the more impressive with the current squad averaging just 20.5 years-old.
Singapore's 4x100m team photo with the full team including coach and team manager. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG
Following their bronze medal win, the team was in celebratory mood but also a little disappointed they did not break the national record, a target they had hoped to achieve at this SEA Games.
"Winning a medal was always the aim," said Mark Lee, 18, when asked if winning a bronze was expected by the team.
"In fact we knew that if we had the perfect run, we would break the national record but it didn't happen today."
His teammate Ian Koe, 23, agreed and felt there was still plenty of room for improvement: "I feel that today's exchanges went well."
Singapore men's 4x100m relay team in celebratory mood after achieving a first medal in the event since 2015. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG
"We can always still stretch it a little bit but what we have to work on now is to improve on our individual bests. That is where we lose out to other countries."
Having trained together for less than a year since July 2021, Koe believes there are better things yet to come for the team although the race would have done plenty of good for the confidence of each of the athletes heading into their individual events.
Coming into the SEA Games, the team had competed in the Australian Track and Field Championships and clocked 40.07 seconds, a result which injected some self-belief into the team.
"That race gave us some confidence because it really showed that with a bit more fine tuning we can actually get to sub 40, something which has eluded us over the past year," said the 23 year-old Koe.
When asked how they would describe their current feelings, Lee said it was a mixture of joy and relief.
"This is such a stressful event, and we have worked really hard for this. We are so so happy."