By REDintern Shermaine Lou
Toa Payoh Sports Hall, Tuesday, April 24, 2012 — Raffles Institution (RI) survived a strong fight back from Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) before winning 3-2 to capture their seventh straight National A Division Table Tennis Championship title.
The last time any other team won the A Division boys’ title was in 2005 when National Junior College emerged as champions.
The first singles game saw Qin Rong of Nanyang with a good start against Kerry Tan of RI, as he raced to a 2-0 lead with considerable ease. However, Kerry turned the tables on Qing Rong, winning the next three sets to take the game 3-2 to win RI their first point.
In the first doubles game, the RI pair of Ansel Lee Liang and Julian Woo had the upper hand against Yeoujie and Dywane of Nanyang to win 3-0.
With RI leading the final 2-0, Ding Ji fought hard to beat Dylan Ban of RI 3-0 to show that NYJC deserved a place in the finals.
The second doubles game was a close affair with Chee Kong and Shibin of NYJC eventually beating Benedict Woo and Lee Zi Jie of RI 3-2 to set up a nail-biting finish.
With the score tied at 2-2, the weight of each schools’ expectations were now solely on the shoulders of the last singles players.
Bryan Teo of RI stepped up to sweep Zhang Yang of NYJC 3-0 to help his school retain their title.
Said Kerry Tan of his admirable comeback from 0-2 down in the first singles: “Naturally I was very nervous, and he (Qin Rong) is also a very tough opponent to play with. But I was thinking if I did not get this set down, I will be letting down my team so I gave my best for the third set and managed to take it.”
In the B Division boys’ final, Maris Stella High beat RI 3-2 to win the title they last won in 2009.
RI vs Nanyang
1st Singles: Kerry Tan 3 Qin Rong 2
1st Doubles : Ansel Lee Liang and Julian Woo 3 Yeoujie and Dywane 0
2nd Singles: Dylan Ban 0 Ding Ji 3
2nd Doubles: Benedict Woo and Lee Zi Jie 2 Cheekong and Shibin 3
3rd Singles: Bryan Teo 3 Zhang Yang 0