SINGAPORE - New rules have put their customary celebrations on a backburner, but that mattered little to the doubles champions at the National School Games B Division bowling tournament this week.
They simply adapted to the new Covid-19 safety measures - which bar cheering and close contact - and went about their business.
Methodist Girls' School's (MGS) Ella Tan, who combined with Choo Jing Le to down 2,454 pins and beat teammates Megan Rei Ong and Kan Yi-Shyn by 48 pinfalls, said: "It was really difficult to adjust to all the social distancing measures at the start as we're all used to being able to high-five and hug one another.
"In the end, we came up with new ways of encouraging each other like clapping loudly and 'air high fives' which wasn't all too bad either."
Aiman Raedyn of Hai Sing Catholic School (HCS), who together with Caden Chew claimed the boys' title, added: "It's still a good thing."
The duo had 2,651 pinfalls to beat the 2,638 total of Jeremy Yeo and Royston Loh of Swiss Cottage on Monday (April 12).
Despite the close scoreline, Raedyn, 16, was not too fussed about the results. He said: "Even if it was a slight margin, I think we (deserved it) as we put in the effort to at least have the chance of winning."
Meanwhile, Jing Le and Ella, who are both 15, were ecstatic upon hearing the news of their victory. Jing Le said: "We (were so) relieved that our effort in training for the event had paid off, and grateful for our coach's guidance."
After the NSG was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, many of the bowlers, such as Caden, who is in Secondary 4, were determined to make up for lost time.
He said: "I spent a lot of time bowling instead of doing my other hobbies and wasting time.
"Because this is my last year being in (secondary school), I wanted to try to do something for my school and for my coach."
The students have yet another chance at glory with the competition ending only tomorrow when the quartet finals take place.
And this will be played in a different style than the previous singles and doubles events.
Jing Le said: "Since the quartet event is going to be played with a cross-lane format, we aim to stay calm as we tackle the two different lane conditions. We're confident that our efforts in training will help us to achieve good results in the quartet event."