SINGAPORE - Both teams have been competing in the Schools National A Division Taekwondo Championships for decades.
But both Serangoon Junior College (SRJC) and Jurong Junior College (JJC) broke new ground yesterday at Toa Payoh Sports Hall, when they clinched their first girls' and boys' overall titles.
It was SRJC's first-ever overall title in the schools taekwondo competitions, winning the girls' division over Meridian Junior College by 11 points. The title was only decided in the final category, the green belt team event, with SRJC earning nine points while Meridian drew a blank.
"This year, we had greater teamwork and chemistry," said SRJC captain Lee Pei Shan, 18, referring to her school's rise to the top after failing to finish in the top four in the past two years.
"Each team member had the drive to win the championship."
SRJC's title chase was bolstered by a star performance from first-time competitor Tan Wei Jia, who won three golds, one silver and two bronzes.
"I'm really happy and thankful to all my coaches and seniors who encouraged me when I was nervous," said Wei Jia, 17.
JJC's boys finished level with favourites Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) on 60 points, but won the title by virtue of winning more gold medals (four to HCI's two).
Justin Khoo, 17, was a major contributor to JJC's maiden boys' title, winning three golds. JJC had won the girls' title in 2012.
"We believed in ourselves, and had the support of the best coaches, teachers and seniors," said JJC captain Daryl Gan, 18, adding that the team achieved their goal of improving on past performances.
The B and C Division competitions were held from Monday to Wednesday, with Springfield Secondary School claiming the B and C Division boys' titles and the B Division girls' title. The C Division girls' title was won by Bowen Secondary School.
This article was published on April 25 in The Straits Times.
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