School sports

School sports: Nanyang Girls' coming to grips with the past

Left: Jasryn Cheong and Castillo Phoebe Tizon in action during the girls' extra lightweight bronze-medal match at the Schools National C Division judo championship finals. Jasryn won the bout. Below: (from left) Hannah Chan, Lillian Lu, Ang Wen Ning
(from left) Hannah Chan, Lillian Lu, Ang Wen Ning and Cao Jiayu of Nanyang Girls' High School posing with their medals at Hougang Secondary School. They helped win their school's first C Division judo title since 2014. ST PHOTOS: CHEW SENG KIM, HO CAI JUN
Left: Jasryn Cheong and Castillo Phoebe Tizon in action during the girls' extra lightweight bronze-medal match at the Schools National C Division judo championship finals. Jasryn won the bout. Below: (from left) Hannah Chan, Lillian Lu, Ang Wen Ning
Jasryn Cheong and Castillo Phoebe Tizon in action during the girls' extra lightweight bronze-medal match at the Schools National C Division judo championship finals. Jasryn won the bout. ST PHOTOS: CHEW SENG KIM, HO CAI JUN

Seniors' defeat last year inspires Nanyang Girls' fight for C Div judo success

When they entered the dojo at Hougang Secondary School yesterday, the Secondary 2 judokas from Nanyang Girls' High School vividly remembered their seniors' heartbreaking loss last year.

It was chiefly this year-long memory that inspired them to the Schools National C Division girls' judo title, their first since 2014.

"We (were spectators and) saw our seniors lose last year and we saw them cry," said 14-year-old Cao Jiayu. "We didn't want it to happen again this year."

Last year, Nanyang missed out on the championship as Raffles Girls' School won by a slender margin, having claimed just one gold medal more than their opponents.

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This year, however, they put in a dominant performance, finishing with five golds, four silvers and one bronze. Their rivalshad no golds, one silver and eight bronzes.

Jiayu, who was victorious against team-mate Chua Hui Xin in their middleweight bout, added: "I think it's the fact that we lost to them last year that made us more motivated to win it back this year, so the victory felt really good."

One keenly-watched bout was the lightweight fight between Nanyang Girls' Lillian Lu and Raffles Girls' Elizabeth Leong.

NO REPEAT RESULT

We (were spectators and) saw our seniors lose last year and we saw them cry. We didn't want it to happen again this year.

CAO JIAYU, Nanyang Girls' middleweight judoka, on the C Division team's desire to win the title this year.

The outcome ensured that Nanyang completed a clean sweep of golds in five categories (featherweight, extra lightweight, lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight).

Despite winning eventually by two yukos (partial points awarded on a technical basis) after a three-minute round, it was not a completely straightforward task for Lillian.

She said: "I felt a lot of pressure because everyone wanted to get a 5-0 victory.

"But all of us worked very hard for this competition and I wasn't going to let this go to waste."

When asked about the significance of the 5-0 victory, she told The Straits Times: "We've never achieved that before and the seniors were very sure that we could win 5-0 from what they had seen of our batch and how hard we worked."

In the boys' finals, Hwa Chong Institution retained their title once again to extend their winning streak to four years.

They beat Raffles Institution after claiming three golds, three silvers and one bronze while their opponents took two golds and three bronzes.

At the start of the day, the pressure of defending his school's run of success was a positive factor for Chan Feng Yue.

The 13-year-old, who defeated team-mate Henric Khua in the heavyweight final, said: "(Had I failed), there would have been the thought that I let my school down and ended a three-year streak that could have been four years'."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2017, with the headline 'Coming to grips with the past'. Print Edition | Subscribe