Story by REDintern Joy Poon. Photos by Red Sports readers.
MacRitchie Reservoir, Thursday, April 5, 2018 — National Junior College (NJC) accumulated a total of 77 points to smash Hwa Chong Institution’s (HCI) hopes of attaining a decade-long streak as the A Division Boys’ champion in this year’s National Schools Canoeing Championship.
NJC won over HCI’s total of 66 points. Last year, NJC had lost the championship to HCI by one point.
For NJC, their efforts to overcome the traditional powerhouses proved fruitful. “It doesn’t matter how many times we fail, as long as we don’t give up, we will succeed one day,” said NJC’s A Division boys’ captain, Austin Law.
It was fiery competition between NJC and HCI this year. NJC won the 1000m 4-person kayak (K4), but lost to HCI in the 500m K4 later that day. Then, in the 1000m 2-person canoe (C2) event, NJC’s Brandon Yeo and Ian Vu were leading by a boat length, but a last burst by HCI’s Kester Tan and Jaey Tay pushed them to overtake Brandon and Ian to win the gold.
HCI’s A boys’ captain Kevin Chang acknowledged NJC’s prowess this year. “We knew that our opponents would be strong, and we trained hard to prepare ourselves for this competition. But NJC was hungrier,” said Kevin.
“It is a disappointing result, but their victory was rightfully earned. In the next season, we will refocus and work harder to win the title back.”
But Hwa Chong can find solace in their C Division boys taking the championship title after a 15-year drought. With a total of 83 points, they were 30 points ahead of runners-up St. Joseph’s Institution. HCI’s underdog B Division boys also took gold from traditional champions Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) with 82 points, beating ACSI’s 56 points.
HCI’s C Division boys’ captain Ning Xingjian commented that they ‘must not be complacent’.
“We have to stay humble and united as a team if we want to achieve greater feats in the future,” he said.
There were scares and disappointments in the events, with SJI and NJC disqualified in the B Division boys’ C2 1000m race when the SJI pair of Gary Lee and Tan Hiok Kuek cut into the lane of NJC’s Ryan Tan and Harshil Gupta. In the C Divison boys’ K2 500m, HCI’s Goh Yi En and King Jian Ze capsized upon barely crossing the finishing line in third place but avoided disqualification.
HCI’s A Division girls team placed first with 57 points, while silver medallists NJC had an overall of 52.
NJC also celebrated taking the gold in the B Divison girls’ with 39 points, just two points ahead of Temasek Secondary School. Temasek managed to win the C Division girls’ in front of Crescent Girls’ School and Damai Secondary School.
A Division Boys Team
1st National Junior College – 77 points
2nd Hwa Chong Institution – 66 points
3rd Anglo-Chinese Junior College – 31 points
4th Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) – 26 points
A Division Girls Team
1st Hwa Chong Institution – 57 points
2nd National Junior College – 52 points
3rd Anglo-Chinese Junior College – 30 points
4th Serangoon Junior College – 8 points
B Division Boys Team
1st Hwa Chong Institution – 82 points
2nd Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) – 56 points
3rd St. Joseph’s Institution – 39 points
4th National Junior College – 14 points
B Division Girls Team
1st National Junior College – 39 points
2nd Temasek Secondary School – 37 points
3rd Damai Secondary School – 29 points
4th Gan Eng Seng School – 24 points
C Division Boys Team
1st Hwa Chong Institution – 83 points
2nd St. Joseph’s Institution – 53 points
3rd Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) – 35 points
4th National Junior College – 7 points
C Division Girls Team
1st Temasek Secondary School – 46 points
2nd Crescent Girls’ School – 39 points
3rd Damai Secondary School – 21 points
4th National Junior College – 20 points
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