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athletics jawhardeen
Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary's Mohamed Jawhardin sprang into prominence at the recent 54th National Schools Track and Field Championships in the 100m and 200m events (Photo credit: Les Tan)

By Les Tan

At the recent 54th National Schools Track and Field Championships, V S Mohamed Jawhardeen of Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary sprang into prominence when he took home both the A Division 100 metres and 200m gold medals.

In the 200m final, Jawhardeen clocked 21.83 seconds, just 0.08s shy of the record of 21.75s set by Donovan Chan Zhiyuan of Hwa Chong Institution in 2012. For his 100m event, Jawhardeen finished it in 10.79s, 0.09s outside the record of 10.70s set in 2012 by Donovan as well.

For Jawhardeen, 18, this was his first time competing in the A Division. He not a short distance sprinter initially and was running the 400m and 800m events up until Secondary Three. In 2012, he decided to switch to the 100m and 200m.

In 2012, he ran in the B Division 100m and 200m finals. He clocked 11.73s to finish sixth in the 100m final was fourth with a timing of 23.26s in the 200m final.

Red Sports caught up with Jawhardeen to find out more about him.

Red Sports:How does it feel to have attained both gold medals in the 200m and 100m events?
Jawhardeen: It felt very good as it was an unexpected victory for me!

Red Sports: What do you think has contributed to your success at this track and field meet?
Jawhardeen: The encouragement and support of my friends, teacher and coach. My friends have always been there whenever I was down they were like the pillar of support for me. My teachers were willing to guide me after school for all the work I missed and my coach took the time to come down on Saturday and help me out with my form and technique.

Red Sports: What were some of the difficulties you faced on your way towards winning these two gold medals?
Jawhardeen: I found it hard to strike a balance between studies and track. Usually after my training, I would be physically drained and couldn’t possibly study. I had to make it up by waking up at 3 a.m. to study and finish up my homework.

Red Sports: Despite these difficulties, what motivated you and kept you going?
Jawhardeen: My motivation comes from my late uncle. He has always played a part in my life. I also had my own motivation and determination to do well.

Red Sports: Tell us about your training regime.
Jawhardeen: Previously in B Division, I was running the 400m and 800m events. It was not until last year when I switched to the 100m and 200m events. This meant that I had to focus and work on my core strength and sprinting technique.

Red Sports: How did your family and friends react to your success?
Jawhardeen: They were very delighted and are extremely proud of me.

Red Sports: Considering that there are opponents who have had much more track and field experience, what do you think were the factors that allowed you to have an edge over them?
Jawhardeen: I was considered as an unknown runner because I was still in B Division last year. As such, not many people took note of me. That helped because there was no pressure from anyone else.

Red Sports: What are your future track and field goals? 
Jawhardeen: I would like to lower my timing as much as possible and aim to qualify for the Southeast Asian Games.

Red Sports: What advice would you give to people who aspire to be like you?
Jawhardeen: Keep working hard no matter how demoralised you get.

Red Sports: What was your secret to success?
Jawhardeen: There’s no secret. Just have to work hard!

Click here to read the full interview on Red Sports.

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