Today, Yishun Sports Hall was the battlefield for the titanic clash between our table tennis players and the team from Raffles Institution Junior College. Our paddlers faced up against our traditional rivals in both the A division boys and girls championships.
The teams were neck-and-neck throughout both matches, making for truly nail-biting contests that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. The boys team got off to a steady start when Jie Yan secured the first singles with a set score of 2-1. Our girls were bested in the first match-up but rebounded solidly by winning the first doubles by a convincing margin.
By the third match-up, our boys were up by two games to one, with star paddler Zhang Sai laying waste to the opposing side, while our girls had gotten ahead by the same margin with their win in the second singles match. Confidence and spirit were high for the Hwa Chong crowd as the cheers kept on coming for our team, but unfortunately the tide began to turn against us as the mettle and skill of our rivals started to show through.
Meanwhile, our boys came within striking distance of securing the second doubles match-up, but were agonizingly disappointed in a fiercely competitive face-off that saw our boys losing the set by 13 points to 11. Kudos to the paddlers, Leonard and David, who demonstrated true Hwa Chong spirit by striving hard to chisel away at their opponent’s initial 4-point lead and not giving up the set without a good fight.
It all boiled down to the final match-ups for both championships, and it turned out that it was just not meant to be for our persevering paddlers. Our last boys singles player Jia Yang, despite valiant effort and impressive skill, was soundly beaten by rival paddler Ben Teo, while the aggressive and flamboyant style of the Raffles female paddler proved effective against the measured and skilled technique of our top seed Wan Ling.
Though the championship titles were just that little bit beyond our paddler’s reach this year, the skill, determination and sportsmanship that our players demonstrated under pressure are proof enough of their distinction in their sport, and truly make them winners in their own right.