One by one, the triumphant Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) water polo boys went up to receive their gold medals after a convincing 9-1 win over Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) in the Schools National C Division water polo final.
That secured their third successive divisional title at the Physical Education & Sports Education Branch yesterday.
However, the loudest cheers were reserved for Ryan Teo. Sporting a bright green cast on his left leg, the Secondary 2 student got up from his wheelchair and hobbled his way forward on crutches to receive his medal.
Despite playing a grand total of zero minutes in this year's tournament, the driver's contributions in winning the title last year were not forgotten. Captain Brandon Tan said: "Throughout the whole journey in the competition, Ryan has been with us always.
"He has shown the team a lot of support in whatever way he can and we truly appreciate it - be it whether he comes down for our training sessions or attends our matches."
Team-mate Vicknessh Mathiwanen, who netted a game-high three goals, also added: "This victory, in a small way, is a tribute to him as a team-mate and friend."
Ryan, 14, broke his left tibia in a freak accident a day before the C Division competition began last month. He was in school when he heard a "pop" sound in his leg after he turned around to greet a friend.
Despite the setback, he was included in the team owing to his dedication to the sport. Ryan said: "I'm very grateful to my coach for still letting me be a part of the team.
"Even though I was quite disappointed about not being able to play, the least I could do is show the team my support - I'm proud of them."
ACS(I), who beat HCI 9-4 in the preliminary round, were aggressive from the get-go in the final, leading 3-1 after the first period of six minutes as HCI struggled to keep up.
The former continued to stretch their advantage in the second (5-1) and third (6-1) period before ending 9-1 victors. ACS(I) were more adventurous going forward when they played long diagonal passes and also remained tight at the back, denying HCI the chance to attack.
HCI coach Lau Se Wai said: "ACS(I) were just better than us and were one level up. We did all we could and tried our best but ACS(I) were really relentless."