School sports: Raffles dominate table tennis finals with five titles; Hwa Chong claim other championship

Raffles Institution's Lim Jun Kai celebrates after winning his game against Jaedon Foo from Hwa Chong Institution in the Schools National B Division Boys table tennis final at Our Tampines Hub on April 24, 2019.
Raffles Institution's Lim Jun Kai celebrates after winning his game against Jaedon Foo from Hwa Chong Institution in the Schools National B Division Boys table tennis final at Our Tampines Hub on April 24, 2019.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - As the white ball flew past his opponent to complete a remarkable comeback on Wednesday (April 24), a triumphant Lim Jun Kai turned to his Raffles Institution supporters and roared in delight.

That was all the celebration he could muster before he was mobbed by his jubilant team-mates following their dramatic 3-2 win over Hwa Chong Institution in the B Division boys table tennis final.

Defending champions RI and HCI had split the first four matches, which meant Jun Kai's clash against fellow 15-year-old Jaedon Foo would decide the championship at Our Tampines Hub Team Sports Hall.

Jun Kai, a Year 3 student, said: "I was extremely nervous playing the deciding match but I told myself to take the match point by point and not be too hot-headed.

"My coach also kept reminding me to keep calm and that the results don't matter as long as I give my best and that really helped me to calm down and focus on the match."

Adding to the tension was that all the other A, B and C Div boys and girls' matches had concluded before that deciding contest and all eyes were on focused on Jun Kai's match.

In a topsy-turvy encounter, he eventually prevailed 13-11, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 to secure RI their fourth straight B Div boys title.

RI captain Lim Dao Yi, 16, said: "I'm very happy with my team's performance. Everyone showed good team spirit and we supported each other no matter the circumstances. I'm very proud that everyone played their best and helped the team clinch the win."

It was a day to remember for the Raffles family as the B Div boys' victory was one of five titles they collected on Wednesday.

In the A Div finals, RI boys and girls defeated their HCI counterparts by the same 3-1 scoreline while Raffles Girls' School beat Nanyang Girls' High School 3-0 in the B Div and the same opponents 3-1 in the C Div final.

Despite losing their B Div boys title, HCI captain Yap Ze Kai, 16, was still proud of his team.

He said: "Although we didn't put in best performance, we really gave it our all.We might be disappointed with the results but we're still happy with the way we played today."

There was some consolation for HCI in the C Div boys final. They beat Dunman High School 3-2.