It was almost a perfect day as the Singapore Sports School (SSP) swept all four titles at stake in the Schools National badminton finals yesterday.
The defending champions posted 5-0 wins in both B Division boys and girls' finals against Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) and Raffles Girls' School (Secondary) and beat Raffles Institution by the same margin in the C boys' final.
Their only blemish was in the C girls' final in which SSP won 4-1, with RGS' Tan Li Ting and Chloe Chan preventing a whitewash by beating Amber Lim and Chloe Liew 21-14, 22-20.
Despite the loss of one match, it was still better than SSP's results last year when they won 17 of 20 matches en route to bagging all four titles.
SSP's B boys' captain Lim Ming Hong, 17, admitted feeling nervous about keeping up the winning streak despite having prepared well.
"Last year we also brought home the four divisional titles, so there was a lot of pressure to do the same this year. But I was also confident because we all trained very hard," said the Secondary 5 student.
He set the tone by beating ACS(I)'s Basile Koh in the best-of-five format that alternates between singles and doubles.
While SSP had an unassailable 3-0 lead and had secured the title, ACS(I)'s Jacob Tan, 16, and Kendric Cheng, 15, put up some resistance in the second doubles clash before Marcus Tan, 16, and Nge Joo Jie, 15, prevailed 21-7, 26-24.
Marcus attributed the win to the support from the crowd at the Jurong East Sports Hall. Said the Secondary 4 student: "During the crucial part towards the end, the supporters were extremely important. We took their energy and converted that into the victory."
Despite the loss, Jacob was proud of their efforts. He said: "The second game was very tiring but it was our last game since it's our last year in ACS(I) so we just tried our best to give them a good fight.
"When our match started we had already lost, so we went in without any pressure and gave our best."
Nothing less than her best was required for SSP's Rennie Yow in the B girls' final.
She dug deep to edge out 15-year-old Ilisha Tanasekar of RGS 15, 21-17, 21-19 in the second singles to give SSP a winning 3-0 lead.
Rennie, 16, said: "There was definitely pressure but, even though I was behind in the second game, I never gave up hope.
"I felt like I was able to control my emotions better today and that to help me clinch the win."