Raffles seal A Division badminton double
It was a glorious day for Raffles Institution (RI) as they clinched the National Schools A Division Badminton Championship double, beating River Valley High School (RVHS) in both the Boys' and Girls' finals at Toa Payoh Sports Hall.
While the boys' team successfully defended their title with a comfortable 3-0 win, victory was even sweeter for the girls as they regained their title after RVHS had ended their 18-year reign last year.
RI girls' captain Chung Shuqi cruised to a comfortable victory in her singles match, beating RVHS' Cheong Yi Hua 21-14, 21-8.
However, RVHS levelled the score after a hard-fought win by doubles pair Sandy Chua and Tan Li Lin over RI's Nicole Png and Lim Boon Wen 8-21, 21-18, 22-20.
Nicole and Boon Wen started strong, taking the first set 21-8.
However, Sandy and Li Lin regrouped and won the next set 21-18.
In the deciding set, both pairs went all out for every point.
The RI pair were on the brink of victory at 20-19, but the RVHS duo hung on grimly and won the next three points, taking the set 22-20.
Sparked by that stirring win, RVHS went on to take the first set of the next singles match 21-17 through Yu Yi.
The lead was shortlived as RI's Hannah Tay fought back to win the next two games 21-10, 21-17.
With the score at 2-1 in RI's favour, the RVHS doubles pair of Neo Yi Fang and Claris Woon appeared to be in control of the fourth encounter when they won the first set 21-15.
In the end, though, they were no match for the powerful smashes of RI's Charis Chan and Elizabeth Yaw who clinched the title with a 15-21, 21-15, 21-18 triumph.
After clinching the final singles for a 4-1 overall triumph, Shuqi told The New Paper: "Last year we lost to RV after winning for 18 years then this year we managed to get it back.
"As the captain, I'm very proud of the hard work and effort that they put in, they played very well."
RI coach Ronald Susilo was ecstatic over the double championship triumph.
"They earned it and they worked hard for it," said the Olympian.
"Despite their busy schedules, they managed to sacrifice their time to train which is not easy for them so I salute them for that.
"Everybody played well today. What we're most happy (with) is they gave their utmost and they didn't give up. That's what we want."