Tchoukball: U-18 girls reclaim Singapore's pride with final victory over Chinese Taipei

The girls' Under-18 final was a tightly contested battle as the Taiwanese raced to an early lead to win the first period 13-10. The Singaporeans bounced back and displayed remarkable composure to win the second and third period and secure a 38-30 vic
The girls' Under-18 final was a tightly contested battle as the Taiwanese raced to an early lead to win the first period 13-10. The Singaporeans bounced back and displayed remarkable composure to win the second and third period and secure a 38-30 victory and the gold medal.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE KIAT

SINGAPORE - The Singaporean players had gone into the World Youth Tchoukball Championship determined to repeat their historic treble from 2015.

Despite losing the boys' Under-18 and girls' Under-12 titles to top-seeded Chinese Taipei on Sunday (Aug 19), the girls' Under-18 side gave Singapore a reason to cheer after beating the Taiwanese to deny them a clean sweep at Our Tampines Hub.

The girls' Under-18 final was a tightly contested battle as the Taiwanese raced to an early lead to win the first period 13-10.

The Singaporeans bounced back and displayed remarkable composure to win the second and third period and secure a 38-30 victory and the gold medal.

Vice-captain Celine Sheum credited her team's patience for their come-from-behind victory.

She said: "We were quite nervous in the beginning as our performance on the previous day was not great.

"We panicked but got used to Chinese Taipei's shots and kept our composure from the second period onward and it paid off."

Taiwanese head coach Fang Shen-szu, who said earlier that his side was bent on revenge this year after losing both Under-18 titles and the girls' Under-12 crown to Singapore in 2015, was happy with the haul of five golds and one silver.

 
 

"I am very satisfied with our achievement this year, especially after seeing Singapore's improvement and the progress they have made," he said.

While the Under-18 girls were celebrating after their win, there was disappointment for their male colleagues as the defending champions were routed 55-51 by Chinese Taipei.

The thrilling final saw the Taiwanese edging out Singapore in the first two periods with their combinations and powerful shots. The Singaporeans battled back in the third period but were unable to overturn the final score as Chinese Taipei claimed victory, 55-51.

Coach Lin Sun Tang rued his side's early mistakes. He said: "We were rushing to perform well and committed mistakes in the first half that we don't usually do. We dropped the ball about three to five times and wasted chances. Our mistakes in the first period hit us hard."

Vice-captain Amos Chan, 15, remained upbeat despite the loss. He said: "We put up a really good fight but we made too many mistakes. We must take this experience to motivate us for our next tournament."

Singapore's tchoukball players ended their World Youth Championships campaign with one gold, four silver and a bronze.