SINGAPORE - Fencers from the Singapore Sports School (SSP) celebrated a golden double on Wednesday (April 20) to cap the National School Games (NSG) B Division competition as overall winners.
SSP's student-athletes won 10 out of the 24 medals across the cadet (Under-17) men's and women's sabre, epee and foil competitions, winning half of the six gold medals on offer. Two of those wins came on Wednesday at the OCBC Arena Hall 6.
After watching teammate Nabihah Raiedah Mohammad Fadly pick up the cadet women's foil title with a 15-4 win over Crescent Girls' School's Trina Soh, SSP fencer Isaac Ong claimed the cadet sabre gold.
Isaac, 16, defeated his junior teammate Josiah Wei 15-13 in a closely-fought final.
Josiah, who turned 15 in February, had pulled off a comeback to beat Zhou Kunlin of Raffles Institution 15-14 in the semi-final after trailing 14-9.
He trailed again early in the final, this time by eight points but then rallied to 13-13. But a comeback triumph was beyond him as Isaac scored the winning touches.
Isaac and Josiah, who train with each other six times a week at SSP, shared a warm embrace on the piste at the end of their gruelling duel.
Isaac said he was heartened by the performances shown by Josiah and teammate Marcus Maximilian Tan, who claimed the joint bronze medal.
"I'm very proud of my juniors for being able to get this far," said the 1.85m fencer, who was beaming.
"In the final, I was very shocked when Josiah was able to come back (to level). But I was able to keep my composure and see the match out."
While Josiah was "still tired" from the semi-final bout, he said he had given his best and felt he could have won after levelling the score.
But the Secondary 3 student added that he enjoyed his first experience of the NSG since joining the SSP after a two-year postponement due to the pandemic.
"We have had competitions recently but this is a bit different, there's way more people (participating), so there's a little bit more pressure too," he said.
NSG debutant Nabihah said: "Even though it might be quieter (without supporters)... when we come together as a team, we have a lot of energy."
Raffles Girls' School's (RGS) Elle Koh, who is the only student fencer bound for the SEA Games, finished her campaign with a gold in the cadet womens' epee and a bronze in the sabre.
SSP topped the B Division fencing medal table with three gold, two silver and five bronze medals, while RGS and Ang Mo Kio Secondary School were second and third with 1-1-2 and 1-1-0.
B division medallists
Cadet women's sabre: Lim Jae Jia En (SSP, gold); Elysha Lim (RGS, silver); Elle Koh (RGS) and Farhah Qistina Mohd Fazel (SSP), joint bronze
Cadet men's sabre: Isaac Ong (SSP); Josiah Wei (SSP); Marcus Maximilan Tan (SSP) and Zhou Kunlin (Raffles Institution)
Cadet women's epee: Elle Koh (RGS); Esther Tan (SSP); Denise Ning Yi (Greendale Secondary) and Helena Katherina Chan (RGS)
Cadet men's epee: Trevor Chow (Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)); Keyon Loo (Ang Mo Kio Secondary); Ivan Gyann Leo (SSP) and Ian Ho (Maris Stella High)
Cadet women's foil: Nabihah Raiedah Mohammad Fadly (SSP); Trina Soh (Crescent Girls'); Olivia Zhao (RGS) and Rachel Koh (SSP)
Cadet men's foil: Keyon Loo (Ang Mo Kio Secondary); Lemuel Huang (Raffles Institution); Soliano Seth Logan Tan (SSP) and Du Yuntao (Hwa Chong Institution)