Flying our Singapore flag high - a glowing performance by our table tennis team.
Semarang, Indonesia – It was a rewarding day for Singapore’s Table Tennis team at the 11th ASEAN Schools Games.
With two gold medals in the afternoon for the boys’ and girls’ team finals, and another gold medal in the evening for the mixed doubles finals, the team had surpassed all expectations.
Captain of the boys’ table tennis team, Lim Dao Yi, said: “I think the team played very well today. We didn’t expect to reach the finals, much less win the championship title.”
The 16-year-old had paved the way for his team by opening the boys’ team final with a straight set (3-0) victory over his opponent, Christopher Isaac from Malaysia.
Lim Dao Yi performing in tip-top condition, securing a 3-0 victory over his opponent.
“We all had faith in each other and played confidently, because what was more important was that we put our best foot forward and have each other’s back,” added the Raffles Institution student.
Indeed, the camaraderie and unity within the team was palpable. For 13-year-old Isaac Quek, the constant encouragement from his teammates throughout the match had a positive impact on his morale and performance.
Facing a setback (5-11) during his third game against Malaysia’s Danny Ng, who is three years his senior, Isaac looked to his team for support.
“I wanted to cheer myself up during the match, so I kept looking back at my teammates and coaches who were cheering me on,” said Isaac who is participating in ASG for the first time this year.
Isaac Quek going up against Malaysia’s Danny Ng in the boys’ table tennis team final.
As the game progressed, Isaac eventually prevailed against his more experienced opponent to secure the second match.
Reflecting on his performance, the student from Singapore Sports School said: “I just didn’t think about winning. I was focused on doing my best against the older opponents.”
As the youngest member of the table tennis team, Isaac also frequently seeks advice from team captain Dao Yi, who is like a big brother to him. The two are also roommates during the Games in Semarang.
“I feel that Dao Yi is a very good captain. He is very encouraging and is always looking for ways to help us bond as a team. He is also very caring and even wakes me up in the morning!”
Liu Sijia sealing the victory against Indonesia’s Azzahra Ummul Ulya in the girls’ table tennis team final.
In the next court, our table tennis girls also put up a riveting performance against the home team and crowd favourite from Indonesia.
With two successive wins in the bag by her teammates Ser Lin Qian and Zhou Jingyi, all eyes were on Liu Sijia to seal the victory against Indonesian Azzahra Ummul Ulya.
Despite an initial setback in the first game where she lost 8-11, Sijia quickly turned things around with support from her teammates.
“I think I was just too nervous in the first game, but my teammates reminded me that they will always be behind me and this helped to calm me down. It was like having a big family behind me,” said Sijia.
The Singapore Sports School student eventually won the match to secure the gold medal for the girls’ team. “The last strike was a really exciting moment for me, and I almost cried. It feels great to fly the Singapore flag high.”
The boys and girls table tennis teams with their coaches, team manager and deputy Chef-de-Mission, Mr Shane Kwok.
On the team’s overall performance, coach Mr Tan Chiew Sern said: “I feel they have exceeded expectations and performed beyond their potential. The students are really playing as a team and encouraging each other throughout the matches, and it’s very good to see that.”
Table tennis team manager, Mr Liew Wei Sheng, is proud of the team as well and shared that all the games were actually very close.
“There were times when our students were overcome by their emotions and were faced with unexpected challenges, but I’m glad they managed to maintain their composure and stay resilient,” he said.