Jun Kai helps Raffles Institution win fifth straight title
As the white ball flew past his opponent to complete a dramatic victory yesterday, a triumphant Lim Jun Kai turned to his Raffles Institution supporters and roared with delight.
That was all the celebration he could muster before he was mobbed by his jubilant team-mates, following their dramatic 3-2 win over Hwa Chong Institution in the National Schools Boys' B Division table tennis final.
RI and defending champions HCI had split the first four matches, which meant Jun Kai's clash against fellow 15-year-old Jadeon Foo would decide the championship at Our Tampines Hub Team Sports Hall.
Jun Kai, a Year Three student, said: "I was extremely nervous playing the deciding match, but I told myself to take the match point by point and not be too hot-headed.
"My coach also kept reminding me to keep calm and that the results don't matter as long as I give my best.
"That really helped me to calm down and focus on the match."
Adding to the tension was that all the other Boys and Girls' A, B and C Div matches had concluded before that deciding contest and all eyes were on Jun Kai's match.
In a topsy-turvy encounter, he eventually prevailed 13-11, 4-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7 to secure RI their fifth consecutive Boys' B Div title.
RI captain Lim Dao Yi, 16, said: "I'm very happy with my team's performance.
"Everyone showed good team spirit and we supported each other, no matter the circumstances.
"I'm very proud that everyone played his best and helped the team clinch the win."
It was a day to remember for the Raffles family, as the Boys' B Div victory was one of five titles they collected yesterday.
In the Boys and Girls' A Div finals, RI defeated their HCI counterparts by the same 3-1 scoreline.
Raffles Girls' School beat Nanyang Girls' High School 3-0 in the B Div final and the same opponents 3-1 in the C Div final.
Despite losing their Boys' B Div final, HCI captain Yap Ze Kai, 16, was still proud of his team.
He said: "Although we didn't put in our best performance, we really gave it our all.
"We might be disappointed with the results, but we're still happy with the way we played today."
There was some consolation, though, for HCI in the Boys' C Div final. They beat Dunman High School 3-2.