School sports: Maris Stella clinch North Zone C boys' badminton title

Maris Stella High School (Secondary) beat Montfort Secondary 4-1 in the final on Aug 24, 2022. ST PHOTO: LAURA CHIA

SINGAPORE - After years of being dominated by the Singapore Sports School, the North Zone C Division boys' badminton competition crowned a new champion when Maris Stella High School beat Montfort Secondary 4-1 in the final on Wednesday (Aug 24).

It was Maris Stella's first title after finishing in the top four in at least the last five editions of the tournament. Defending champions SSP did not compete this year.

Maris Stella captain Lucas Yeo was thrilled with the result and the performance his teammates put up.

He said: "Throughout the competition, we always put in our best effort for every match. I'm glad we managed to push through despite some of us feeling nervous during matches."

In the best-of-five final at Montfort's indoor sports hall, Maris Stella drew first blood through Steven Syarif, who beat Marquis Poh 21-15, 21-12.

Lucas and partner Ang Zi Hun were then made to slog for their 21-18, 16-21, 21-13 win over Tang Zee Fye and Chen Yuhan.

Jayden Tan sealed the victory with a convincing 21-3, 21-9 over Joshua Chow.

Montfort earned a consolation point through doubles pair Andrew Lee and Caden Lee, who beat Maris Stella's Ethan Sng and Ryan Yee 21-15, 11-21, 21-16.

Montfort captain Dzil Izdihan Azrin put up a good fight against Ian Tan in a closely-fought match but eventually fell 21-15, 19-21, 21-19.

Steven, 14, was proud to be part of the team that helped Maris Stella clinch the title.

The Secondary 2 student said: "It's an excellent team and I'm very grateful to be a part of this. I wouldn't say it was expected of us to win and we knew it was going to be a hard fight but we did win and I'm really happy about that.

"I was excited and nervous to be the first player out and I had a bit of a shaky start but my coach and teammates were encouraging me so I got better after that... With the support of so many people, I knew I couldn't let them down."

He was also glad he had the opportunity to compete in the C Division competition after missing out last year because of the pandemic.

Steven said: "It helps me gain exposure and experience for the future when I play again."

Maris Stella coach Liu Fan, 38, was elated that her charges clinched the North Zone double after also winning the B Division title earlier this year.

"I'm really proud of them. Their teamwork was really good this year, the coaches and students worked very well and the school leaders were very supportive also.

"This is a team event so if everyone plays for themselves, the team can't succeed so everyone contributed to this victory."

While the wait for Montfort's first North Zone title since 2010 goes on, Dzil was still proud of his team for reaching the final.

The 14-year-old said: "Overall, it went well. The opponents played better today but even though we lost, I'm happy that we reached the final. We were aiming to reach the semi-finals and we didn't expect this.

"I'm grateful to compete in the National School Games this year. This season will give me more motivation to work harder for the B Division because I'll be playing against Secondary 3-5 students and they're going to be stronger."

Bowen Secondary finished third after beating Canberra Secondary 3-2.

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