Athletics: It's really not impossible, says Goh Chui Ling as PhD student sets 3,000m national mark

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SINGAPORE - It was meant to be a celebratory meal after the Neustadter Laufermeeting in Germany on Friday (Aug 5) but Singapore runner Goh Chui Ling's dinner was literally as flat as a pizza.

The base of the seafood pizza for her dinner with friends was not salty enough, the tomato sauce was of low quality and the seafood tasted a bit sour.

Fortunately for Goh, that was the only low point of an otherwise happy day for her as she broke her fourth national record this year - this time in the 3,000m.

The 29-year-old clocked 9min 51.16sec in Neustadt an de Waldnaab, a small town in the south-east of Germany, to break K. Jayamani's 40-year-old record of 9:56.6 set in 1982.

The record is pending ratification by Singapore Athletics.

It was the first time Goh was racing in the 3,000m - a distance which is no longer on the programme at the Olympics and World Championships - and she was using it as preparation for the Aug 20 2.4km Pocari Sweat Run Singapore.

She told The Straits Times: "I knew that it would not come easy, it was not going to be something I could stride through and still get the record.

"I knew if I put in the work, I would get it. When I finished and saw my time, I was happy because it was my first-ever 3,000m. Hopefully in time to come, when I get to race more, I can lower it further."

This is now the seventh national mark that Goh holds, including two relays.

Her good form started last October, when she broke the national best in the 10,000m (road) before rewriting her own mark just five weeks later.

She then broke the 2.4km national best at the Pocari Sweat Run in January and set a new 5,000m (road) mark a month before the May SEA Games.

She clinched two medals in the 1,500m and 10,000m at the SEA Games in Hanoi, while settling for fourth in the 800m.

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