by Adelyn Koh (16S06H)
This is Part Two to our coverage of our Judo team’s stellar performance in this year’s Judo National Schools competition. To find out how more on how the game is played, do head on to part one for more information!
In Part One, we’ve covered the girls’ competitions, and move on now to the boys’ rounds.
Featherweight Category: Gareth Edward Lee (16S06L)
Gareth Lee went up against Ben Tan (CJC) for his final match against raffles. While Gareth was taken aback by the strength of Ben’s grip at first, he eventually managed to quickly regain his bearings. After several failed attempts at his main attempts at Tomoe Nage; his main throw, he was not discouraged, but rather managed to end to the bout with a Seio Nage throw in the final seconds of the bout, earning him a wazari and hence winning him the bout. Seeing as Seio Nage was the first throw that Gareth had learnt in Raffles, it was fitting how his judo journey at Raffles ended with a Seio Nage as well.
Lightweight Category (Boys): Tseng Chen Yu (17S06H) and Jiang Zi Xing (17S06A)
With both our boys in the finals, it meant that the gold medal was secured for the school. Beyond that however, it was an exciting moment for the both our judokas: meeting your team mate in the finals means that a certain level of match difficulty is to be expected. After all, who knows your playing style better than those that you train regularly with? Zixing sustained a finger injury halfway through the match and was visibly in much pain, but he managed to score a wazari, while Chen Yu managed to score a yuko quickly after that. In the end, even though Zixing won with Ippon and was immediately rushed to the hospital after the match as his finger was deemed to be fractured, we are proud of Zixing for soldiering on despite the pain and eventually triumphing, and also Chen Yu, for showing sportsmanship in the face of adversity, for he gave his all in his bout against Zixing.
Middle Weight Category (Boys) : Ace Ang (17A01B) and Chee Jia Yuan (16S03P)
Ah, once again, both our boys wound up in the finals in this category as well. Ace, as a left-handed player, was a rather tough opponent for Jia Yuan. Although Ace eventually managed to achieve a victory, we know that Jia Yuan played his best, and had fun while doing the sport he loved the most. Ace managed to capitalize on one of the mistakes Jia Yuan had made, and managed to attain enter for Uchi mata when Jia Yuan was off-guard, getting for himself a wazari, and then another from a shoulder throw, soon after. More important than the medal, was the friendship that had blossomed between both players, and that adds more colour to a player’s journey than that of medals.
Heavyweight Category: Benjamin Fong (16S03K)
Benjamin knew, from the very start, that he was determined to win this final bout. However, he was taken by surprise, when as his opponent, Chua Yu Rui (HCI), who had bulked from under -66kg to +74kg in less than a year, was physically stronger than he expected. However, Benjamin managed to overcome his initial shock, as he did not falter even for a moment, with no hocus pocus and just focus as he went on to eventually overcome Yu Rui and score two wazaris against his opponent, warranting him an ippon.
In conclusion, the Boys team won the overall A Division championship, with a grand total of 4 golds out of 6, while the Girls team came in second. We are extremely proud of all our judokas, and would like to praise them for their unwavering tenacity, in both senses of the word.
1. the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; grip.
2. the quality or fact of being very determined; determination.
It is quite apt, don’t you think?