ACS (I) end C Division badminton drought
When 14-year-old Chin Yuan Tian clinched the winning point in front of an estimated 350-strong crowd, the boys in blue swarmed onto the Jurong East Sports Centre court with unbridled joy.
It had been a long wait for Anglo-Chinese School (Independent). Seventeen years, to be precise.
Yesterday, Yuan Tian's decisive victory over Singapore Sports School's (SSP) Ryan Tan handed ACS(I) a 3-2 win in the National Schools C Division boys' badminton final, their first title in the division since 2000.
ACS(I)'s triumph also prevented a hat-trick of clean sweeps by SSP, who had won all the B and C Division badminton titles at stake since 2015 - until yesterday.
Said ACS(I) coach Samuel Sim, 51, of their upset win: "The chances of us winning were 65 to 35 per cent, us being the 35 per cent, but the boys put their best foot forward.
"It was a divine intervention in a way.
"One heart, one mind, one soul, was what they exhibited today."
SSP started strongly, with Marcus Tan beating Tong Xian Yi 21-11, 21-18 in the opening game.
But, ACS(I)'s Kendric Cheng and Jacob Tan levelled the score, downing the SSP doubles pair of Nge Joo Jie and Torance Jng 22-20, 21-12.
SSP regained the upper hand through Kenny Khew, who defeated Basile Koh 21-18, 21-17.
ACS(I)'s second doubles pair of Larry Lim and Chua Siang Ray then routed Lucas Saw and Johann Prajogo 21-9, 21-15 to set up the deciding match.
ACS(I) finally ended their C Division drought when Yuan Tian kept his nerve to overpower Ryan 12-21, 21-12, 21-15.
Said Yuan Tian: "It was an amazing feeling to win the final match and the deciding point, especially since it was my first time playing in front of a crowd this huge."
B Division Boys
2nd: Raffles' Institution
B Division Girls
2nd: Raffles Girls' School
C Division Boys
C Division Girls
2nd: Singapore Chinese Girls' School