Shao Feng pulls off a shock
Sports School paddlers claim three individual titles, RI bag two
The Singapore Sports School's table tennis players won half of the six titles on offer yesterday, with Poh Shao Feng playing a starring role after pulling off a major upset at the National Inter-School Table Tennis Individual Championships at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School.
The paddlers from the Sports School bagged the boys' and girls' U-14 crowns as well as the boys' U-17 title.
The biggest win was posted by Shao Feng, who defeated Youth Olympic Games hopeful Yin Jing Yuan of Raffles Institution (RI) to claim the boys U-17 final.
Speaking to the New Paper after his win, Shao Feng, 15, said: "I feel very happy. I was the underdog so for me to win, I really performed beyond my expectations."
The Singapore National Olympic Council yesterday endorsed the selection of Jing Yuan and Yee Herng Hwee for the men's and women's singles at this year's Youth Olympics, which will be held in Nanjing from Aug 16 to 28.
Jing Yuan claimed the first set 11-8, but from then on, Shao Feng was in control and his aggressive play saw him claim the next three sets easily, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5.
"I tried not to think too much after he won the first set, but I became more aggressive because I didn't want to show that I was affected by the loss," said the youngster.
The Sports School student credited his familiarity with Jing Yuan's style as another reason for his victory.
He said: "We regularly train together because we're both in the national youth team.
"We know each other quite well so we know how the other will play."
All three of the Sports School's wins came at the expense of their Rafflesian rivals.
Apart from Shao Feng's victory, teammates Bradley Lye and En Hui also stood tall in the two U-14 contests.
Bradley defeated Josh Chua of RI 3-0 to win the boys' title while En Hui overcame Monica Koh of Raffles Girls' School in a nail-biting tussle (3-2).
The Raffles family did claim two individual titles.
The girls' U-17 final was won by Li Jia Xin of Raffles Girls' School, after she defeated Yang Fei of Nanyang Girls' High School in a commanding 3-0 win.
The boys' U-20 title went to Kyros Koh of RI, who defeated fellow teammate Liu Tian 3-2 in a gripping encounter.
In the final match of the day, Hwa Chong Institution claimed the U-20 girls' championship when Wu Yao Yao defeated Lim Yi Xuan of RI 3-1.
I feel very happy. I was the underdog so for me to win, I really performed beyond my expectations.
— Poh Shao Feng