School sports: Focused and composed Shayne sweeps B girls' gymnastics titles, Jibreel stars in boys' category

Supporters in the stands cheer on the final day of the Schools National B Division artistic gymnastic championships at Bishan Sports Hall on April 13, 2018.
Supporters in the stands cheer on the final day of the Schools National B Division artistic gymnastic championships at Bishan Sports Hall on April 13, 2018.ST PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI

SINGAPORE - She had learnt a painful lesson two years ago, and so while her fellow competitors were busy chatting among themselves, Nanyang Girls' High School gymnast Shayne Tan cut a solitary figure.

The 15-year-old barely uttered a word and was often seen warming up alone on the final day of the Schools National B Division artistic gymnastic championships at Bishan Sports Hall yesterday.

But her singular focus paid off as the Secondary 3 student swept all four individual apparatus titles on offer, winning gold in the vault (12.116 points), balance beam (11.833), uneven bars (8.800) and floor (12.000).

Shayne was also the individual all-around girls' champion on 36.199 points, ahead of Raffles Girls' School's Ng Le En (33.883) and Josephine Ng Mei (32.883).

Decked in a black and fuschia leotard, Shayne told The Straits Times: "I prefer to focus because I had let my guard down before.

"I was careless and I injured my ankle in the end."

The habit of visualising her routines before stepping on the mat was key to her impressive performance yesterday.

"I will stand by the side, close my eyes and think about the skills I am going to do," explained Shayne, who was called up to the national junior team when she was 13.

"I also tell myself to calm down because I can get quite anxious sometimes and (doing both) helps me to compose myself."

In the B Boys' category, St Joseph's Institution's Jibreel Khaleel Hussein Abo Al Thinin also proved dominant, winning five of the six individual apparatus titles he contested.

The Secondary 4 student won the floor (12.400), pommel horse (11.000), rings (11.433), vault (13.000) and parallel bars (12.133) events.

But he missed out on the high bar title after falling twice during his routine.

Said Jibreel, who is also a national junior gymnast: "The high bar is one of my strongest apparatus so I was really disappointed and I thought my chance to win the all-around title was gone.

"But my team-mates told me to keep my head up because it was not over yet, I still had two more (vault and floor) events to go."

With encouragement from his friends, Jibreel picked himself up and eventually lifted the all-around boys' crown with 37.433 points.

Zhenghua Secondary's Mikha'il Llya' Grant was second (34.832) while Jibreel's team-mate David Wong finished third (34.766).

Juggling five gold medals and a trophy in his hands, Jibreel said: "I wouldn't say that gold is the only colour I am interested in, but I came here hoping to do my best and I'm pretty happy with the results."

Four-time Asean Schools Games gold medallist Lincoln Forest Liqht Man was also in action in the A Boys' Division, winning all of the three events he competed in: floor (12.466), vault (13.050) and high bar (11.766).