SINGAPORE - Raffles Institution (RI) completed a clean sweep of both boys' and girls' Schools National A Division badminton titles for the second year running at Toa Payoh Sports Hall on Friday (May 19).
The two finals went down to the wire with opponents Anglo-Chinese School Independent [ACS(I)] and River Valley High School (RVHS) putting up fierce displays.
In the boys' final, RI saw off a spirited ACS(I) comeback to eke out a 3-2 win.
The Rafflesians took the lead after Chew Wei Lun won the first match against ACS(I)'s Lu Wei Tian winning 22-20, 21-10.
Doubles pair Andy Kwek and Neo Wei Jie then extended RI's lead to 2-0, winning both sets 21-12 against ACS(I)'s Bryan Tan and Tan Cher Kian.
But ACS(I) then captured the following singles and doubles matches to take the score to 2-2.
Javier Tan bounced back from a first-set defeat (12-21) to win the next two sets 21-11, 21-18 against RI's Everard Ong.
Tan Gien and Peck Ern Wen levelled the scores, brushing aside RI's Zachary Low and Amos Khan to win 21- 15, 21-18.
The title was finally decided in the last singles match when RI debutant Suyash Chand breezed through with a 21-10, 21-12 victory against Marc Chien to give RI the championship.
In the girls' final, which was a repeat of last year's edition, the two teams were neck and neck until the last singles match.
RI's Hannah Tay overcame an initial 0-9 deficit in the first set to win 21-18. She then romped through the second set, winning it 21-3 to ensure RI retained their crown.
ACS(I) captain Bryan praised his team for putting up a tough fight and conceded that the better team won.
The 18-year-old added: "Coming to the final was a target for us, winning was a bonus."
RI captain, Everard felt that Raffles deserved the victory. When asked what hopes he had for his junior team-mates he said: "I hope they continue to work hard for the sport they love, do their best...achieve the same feat as this year and continue to win double champs."