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Amanda Choo (Part 1 of 2)
  • October 22nd, 2007

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The Editor: At a young age of 19 years old, Amanda Choo has taken strides in life that few her age could imagine. This editor recalled spotting Amanda training all alone at the stadium, under the extreme of weather and condition.

When her peers was content with the comfort of life, she delivered with conviction, her goals and pursuit in life. An aspiring teacher and women national sprinter who recently broke the 100m and 4x100m women’s record.

Today we manage to get hold of Amanda and asked her to share a self reflection on her athletics journey … past, present and the future

Amanda Choo self-reflection starts below

amanda-choo2.jpg26th of March 2006 was the turning point in my track career, the day I decided I was going to achieve something in track and field.

It was the day I encountered the biggest setback in my life “the death of my uncle. In my hopelessness and helplessness, I felt all I could give back to him was putting into action the traits I learnt from him”; and that was passion and belief.

That was about 2 weeks before national juniors and my immediate aim was to retain my 100m title especially since this was the last time I could participate in national juniors. I went on to break my PB twice.

Then came the Chinese Taipei International Track and Field Meet. During this meet, I ran a time of 12.35s, and I began to realize that maybe I could go much further.

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It was perhaps during this time that I made up my mind to aim for the National Record as a tribute to my uncle.

In August 2006, when the chance to participate in the World Juniors in Beijing was given to me, I seized the opportunity to push for the record. There, I clocked 12.26s setting the national junior record.

It was a bittersweet moment; I was overjoyed at that moment, yet in my heart I knew it was not enough of a tribute to my uncle – I wanted to give him more.

Indeed from that time till Singapore Open 2007, it was a year’s wait.

One that would see my timings remain at a consistent range of 12.3s – 12.4s but yet frustratingly, never going below 12.3s.

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Year 2007 was a year filled with many overseas competitions that saw me flying off for the Chinese Taipei International Athletics Meet, Hong Kong Open, Asian Grand Prix, Asian Track and Field, World University Games and World Championships.

Finally at the World Championships I clocked a timing of 12.29s, my first foray into the 12.2s range this season.

It was a morale booster, especially coming off from the World University Games where I clocked a dismal time of 12.63s.

Yet, with Osaka being known for its fast track and my inability to break the National Record there, my aim seemed to be moving further and further away.

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Coming into Singapore Open, I was having mixed feelings of how well I would do.

I was still feeling unsure because of the missed opportunity at Osaka, however, my coach, Mr Loh Chan Pew, had a strong belief in me especially looking at my timings clocked during training.

I kept my focus through loads of prayers that I said at different points throughout my warm ups, and I went to the start line with a kiss of my cross.

A routine I always do before my race. When I clocked 12.24s during the heats it was a huge morale booster.

The expectation of a record breaking time rose with my heats timing and many would have expected me to falter at the finals with this increased pressure. However, what kept my calm was the difference in the way my coach prepared me.

Part 2 of Amanda’s self reflection continues tomorrow

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Posted by Uncle Sha.
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