Cool-headed Jun Kai secures title for Raffles

Raffles Institution's Lim Jun Kai reacting in joy after winning his team's deciding match against Jaedon Foo of Hwa Chong Institution in the B Division boys' final yesterday. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Raffles Institution's Lim Jun Kai reacting in joy after winning his team's deciding match against Jaedon Foo of Hwa Chong Institution in the B Division boys' final yesterday. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

As the white ball flew past his opponent to complete a dramatic win yesterday, a triumphant Lim Jun Kai turned to his Raffles Institution supporters, fists clenched and roared in delight.

That was all the celebration he could muster before he was mobbed by his jubilant teammates following their 3-2 win over Hwa Chong Institution in the B Division boys' table tennis final.

Defending champions RI and HCI had split the first four matches, which meant Jun Kai's clash against fellow 15-year-old Jaedon Foo would decide the championship at Our Tampines Hub Team Sports Hall.

Jun Kai, a Year 3 student, said: "I was extremely nervous playing the deciding match but I told myself to take the match point by point and not be too hot-headed.

"My coach also kept reminding me to keep calm and that the results don't matter as long as I give my best and that really helped me to calm down and focus on the match."

Adding to the tension was that all the other A, B and C Division matches had ended so all eyes were focused on his match.

In a topsy-turvy encounter, he eventually prevailed 13-11, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 to help RI secure their fifth straight B boys' title.

RI captain Lim Dao Yi, 16, said: "I'm very happy with my team's performance. Everyone showed good team spirit and we supported each other no matter the circumstances.

"I'm very proud that everyone played their best and helped the team clinch the win."

It was a day to remember for the Raffles family as the B Division boys' victory was one of five titles they collected yesterday.

In the A Division finals, RI's boys and girls defeated their HCI counterparts by the same 3-1 scoreline while Raffles Girls' School beat Nanyang Girls' High School 3-0 in the B Division and the same opponents 3-1 in the C Division final.

Despite losing the B boys' final, HCI captain Yap Ze Kai, 16, was still proud of his team.

He said: "Although we didn't put in (our) best performance, we really gave it our all. We might be disappointed with the results but we're still happy with the way we played today."

There was some consolation for HCI in the C boys' final. They beat Dunman High School 3-2.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 25, 2019, with the headline 'Cool-headed Jun Kai secures title for Raffles'. Print Edition | Subscribe