National School Games: Note-taking habit helps Sports School's Faithe clinch gold

Shooter Faithe de Souza at the National School Games B Div Women's 10m Air Rifle Competition on April 6, 2022. ST PHOTO: THADDEUS ANG

SINGAPORE - Other than her air rifle, Singapore Sports School (SSP) shooter Faithe de Souza carries a notebook with her to every competition. As soon as she finishes her shot routine, you can spot the 16-year-old in the viewing gallery furiously scribbling in her notebook, occasionally looking around to reflect on her performance.

"The shooting academy has made it a routine that after every training and competition, we will reflect on what went well and how we can improve. This allows us to look back on what we wrote and correct our mistakes while repeating the things we did well," she said, after winning the individual gold at the National School Games B division women's air rifle competition on Wednesday (April 6).

Registering a massive score of 623.9 points, Faithe was way ahead of the pack at the Safra Yishun Indoor Air Weapon Range. She was 9.5 points clear of the silver medallist - National Junior College's Loveley Ng, who also finished second last year. Broadrick Secondary School's Jolie Ong took bronze with 611.0 points.

"It felt like a great achievement since my hard work the past year has paid off and I have improved by a great margin," Faithe said, referring to an improvement of 9.7 points on her bronze-winning tally last year.

She also did it with both speed and accuracy, dispatching all 60 shots with 30 minutes to spare, the second fastest out of 23 shooters in her session.

"Everyone has different shooting techniques and shooting fast is one of mine as it allows me to get my rhythm of hitting the inner 10s," she said.

Competing in her final NSG, Faithe was glad to have ended it on a good note.

Together with teammates Jillian Su and Soh Yi Wei, they racked up a combined score of 1835.5 to clinch gold in the team event.

SSP are now three for three in the team events and are poised to sweep all four team titles at this year's NSG's B division shooting competition.

SSP coach Ong Jun Hong, 34, said: "I am not too concerned about sweeping the titles, I just hope the athletes can enjoy the competition. I hope this NSG will be celebrated by all participants, especially those who have yet to compete due to the pandemic, for finally having an avenue to put their skills to the test."

In contrast to Faithe's quick firing, Loveley took a more composed and measured approach, making full use of the allotted 75 minutes and taking deep breaths in between shots.

Despite her calm exterior and previous competition experience, the 15-year-old says that it is natural for her to still feel nervous during the shoot.

"My training has prepared me well to perform under pressure and when I am nervous, I recall what my coach has taught me to stay focused and complete my shot routine thoroughly and calmly."

The B division shooting competition finishes on Thursday (April 7) with the women's 10m air pistol.

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