School sports

School sports: A shooter of high Callie-bre

Above: Northbrooks Secondary's Gai Tianrui, 14, is the C Div boys' 10m air rifle winner. Left: Callie Siah (right) in action during the C Div girls' 10m air rifle final. She came from behind to win with 244.6 points.
Callie Siah (right) in action during the C Div girls' 10m air rifle final. She came from behind to win with 244.6 points.PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Above: Northbrooks Secondary's Gai Tianrui, 14, is the C Div boys' 10m air rifle winner. Left: Callie Siah (right) in action during the C Div girls' 10m air rifle final. She came from behind to win with 244.6 points.
Northbrooks Secondary's Gai Tianrui, 14, is the C Div boys' 10m air rifle winner.PHOTO: ALICIA CHAN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Champion considers rivals' feelings, refuses to celebrate

Silence filled the shooting range at Safra Yishun yesterday.

Then, sudden cheers and applause erupted from the crowd as the results of the girls' 10m air rifle final of the Schools National C Division Shooting Championships flashed on the screens.

Everyone from the Singapore Sports School was celebrating - except the winner herself.

Callie Siah cut a subdued figure, without a smile on her face when the shooter found out that she had clinched the title.

"I don't want to have such a big reaction and I want to consider other people's feelings," she told The Straits Times (ST).

"It has happened to me before and I didn't feel so good."

The 14-year-old knows how it feels like to witness celebrations from the losing side after participating in an overseas friendly tournament in Thailand a few years ago.

She added: "I don't want the same experience to happen to others because they will have a bad day."

Perhaps her thoughtfulness also stemmed from the fact that she had beaten her own team-mate Lee Jing Le by a narrow margin.

She was trailing Jing Le in the 24-shot final, but clawed back to take the lead with just six shots remaining.

It went right down to a tense final two shots for the duo, and Callie's scores of 9.4 and 10.2 gave her the edge over Jing Le, as she won with 244.6 points to Jing Le's 244.3. Mervell Tan of Raffles Girls' School took bronze (222.7).

"I thought after my second last shot, I might shoot even worse and lose my first place," said Callie, who started shooting when she was in primary school.

"I feel really happy and grateful. It's a crucial competition because it's my last chance to win a C Division title and next year, my opponents will be more competitive."

In the boys' 10m air rifle final, Northbrooks Secondary's Gai Tianrui won with 243.3 points, ahead of Raffles Institution's (RI) Bryon Lim (239.5) and Ng Kang Qi (219.0) of Anglo-Chinese School (Independent).

It was a sensational improvement from his performance last year, when he could only finish in 19th place with 93.3 points.

The 14-year-old told ST that his huge improvement was all about putting in extra effort.

Compared to last year, the Secondary 2 student now trains at least an hour more each session. He shoots five times a week.

He said: "I told myself that I need to work hard because I didn't do well last year.

"I also worked a lot on focus. If I focus too much on the target, my shot will be very bad. If I focus too much on my body, I'd sway a lot."

Other winners of yesterday's finals were RI's Justin Chia (boys' 10m air pistol, 230.8 points) and Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School's Choong Yuki (girls' 10m air pistol, 230.2 points).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2017, with the headline 'A shooter of high callie-bre'. Print Edition | Subscribe