COMPETITIONS make people nervous. Even our Olympic gold medallist, Joseph Schooling, must probably feel nervous all the time. I, too, was filled with anxiety the day before our Sports Day. I had to run the 200-meter race in the Primary Four category. I am the fastest in the yellow house, but not the fastest in the level. I am less than a second slower than Boon from the blue house. I so want to beat him and I so want to shatter my 31.86-second personal best.
The day arrived and the moment arrived. We’ve got our fingers on the track and our feet planted on the starting plates.
“On your marks. Get set. Go!”
The digital gun made a metallic sound, and off we went. I had a great start, a split-second faster than Boon. My legs were agile and swift, and the balls of my feet had a bounce, all light and nimble.
By the time I crossed the 100-meter mark at the bend, I had the feeling that the gold medal was mine. But when we got to that final home stretch, Boon and I were neck and neck. Presently, my legs sprinted even faster and I could feel the wind on my face and my body. I felt as if I were faster than my legs could carry me, so fast that I was delirious.
The finishing line was there—ten, twelve strides away. The gold, the gold! That was all I was thinking about. Then, I hurtled forward, my feet buckled somehow. Next I knew, I felt a crash on my chin and a sharp abrasion on my arm and on my palms.
I lost. I didn’t even get the silver, nor the bronze. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I was devastated. My teammates rallied around me: “It’s OK, Sam! You ran your best.” I knew I did. I may not have won, but it’s not the end of the world.
At the next race, I’m going to get Boon. Just you watch.
Edith Lee, Primary Four
For more essays by Edith, visit Edith Writes.
This essay was written in response to four boxed pictures:
- a boy trains for a race
- on the day of the race, the boys line up at the starting point
- the boy crashes near the finishing line
- the boy’s friends gather round to comfort him