School sports: Raffles' paddler overcomes odds to win Under-17 individual crown

Raffles Institution's (RI) paddler Liu Hang feels faint whenever he trains for prolonged periods. He often experiences "a heavy head and a weak body", which demands that he trains for a maximum of two hours before he needs a rest.

But this only strengthens his resolve, as he clinched the individual Under-17 boys' individual crown in the Schools National Table Tennis Championships on Thursday.

The 17-year-old came from behind to win 3-1 against Fuhua Secondary's Hao Liwei in the final played at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Secondary).

"I was nervous the first game, but I've always believed I can win," said Liu. "My health concerns mean that there's less stress on me to deliver, but it made me even more determined."

In the U-17 Girls' final, Yang Fei from Nanyang Girls' High School emerged victorious with her 3-0 win over Singapore Sports School's Ang Wan Qi.

In the U-14 boys' final, RI's Josh Chua won 3-1 against Hwa Chong's Institution's (HCI) Sean Ang, while Raffles Girls' School's (RGS) Li Qinan beat Nanyang Girls' Idys Koh 3-0 in the girls' final.

The U-20 finals saw RI's Yin Jing Yuan and Li Jiaxin triumph. Jing Yuan defeated his school-mate Yang Chenye 3-0, while Jiaxin beat HCI's Zhang Siyao 3-2.

Final results - Under-14 boys: Josh Chua (RI) 3-1 Sean Ang (HCI). Girls: Li Qinan (RGS) 3-0 Idys Koh (Nanyang Girls). U-17 boys: Liu Hang (RI) 3-1 Hao Liwei (Fuhua Secondary). Girls: Yang Fei (Nanyang Girls) 3-0 Ang Wan Qi (Singapore Sports School). U-20 boys: Yin Jing Yuan (RI) 3-0 Yang Chenye (RI). Girls: Li Jiaxin (RI) 3-2 Zhang Siyao (HCI).