School sports

Schools: Fall doesn't stop Nanyang Girls' Togawa

Togawa Mei of Nanyang Girls' High School during her floor exercise routine.
Togawa Mei of Nanyang Girls' High School during her floor exercise routine.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Togawa Mei performing on the balance beam at the Bishan Sports Hall yesterday. The 15-year-old won four Girls' B Division individual golds and finished second in the individual all-around event at the National Inter-school Artistic Gymnastics Championship
Togawa Mei performing on the balance beam at the Bishan Sports Hall yesterday. The 15-year-old won four Girls' B Division individual golds and finished second in the individual all-around event at the National Inter-school Artistic Gymnastics Championships. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Nanyang Girls' High School student bounces back to claim 4 individual gymnastics golds

Not only is Togawa Mei an adept gymnast, as her flexible moves showed, she also proved that she can bounce back from adversity.

From the embarrassment of falling during the preliminary rounds of the vault and beam events at this year's National Inter-school Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the Nanyang Girls' High School student recovered to win four individual gold medals yesterday, on the competition's final day.

The 15-year-old also finished second in the individual all-around event in the B Division.

"I trained nearly every day for this competition, so it feels like my effort really paid off," said a delighted Togawa, who is also in the national youth squad.

"I don't think about winning while I am competing, I just try to do the best that I can."

Togawa has been a gymnast since she was four. She was inspired to take part in the sport after watching her sister perform.

One thing Togawa learnt during this competition was the value of perseverance.

"During the preliminary round on the first day, I fell during the vault and balance beam events, so I was a bit down. But I tried to do better on the second day, and I didn't fall," she said.

Beating Togawa to the individual all-around gold was her friend and training partner Tan Sze En of Raffles Girls' School.

Sze En withdrew from the final day of competition to avoid aggravating injuries that she had been carrying.

However, the scores she achieved in the preliminary round were enough to help her retain the individual all-around title she had won last year.

"I feel happy that I managed to help my school win," said Sze En, who will represent Singapore at the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Washington next week.

Togawa insists that she does not regret missing out on the individual all-around title.

"Sze En deserves it. I really appreciate her being there for me during training, and she pushes me to become a better gymnast," Togawa said.

In the Boys' B division, Chong Jer Rong, 15, of Hwa Chong Institution won the individual all-around event thanks to his title-winning performances in the parallel bars, horizontal bar and rings.

"I enjoy gymnastics a lot, so I naturally want to work harder for it. I'm not working towards medals, but to improve myself," he said.

In the Boys' A Division, Ryan Lee of Catholic Junior College took the individual all-around title, as well as top finishes in the parallel bars, horizontal bar and rings.

"I didn't expect to do as well as I did because my competitors are all very strong and the competition was close," the 17-year-old said.

The Girls' A Division saw no contest due to insufficient participants.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2016, with the headline 'FALL DOESN'T STOP TOGAWA'. Print Edition | Subscribe