Booming roars and school cheers reportedly reverberated around the gym hosting the B Division boys’ sepak takraw final in the pre-Covid era, but instead of a venue crowded down to the rafters with supporters, only around 30 student-athletes, coaches and teachers were allowed inside yesterday.
But the group filled the silence of an empty room with their cheers and applause in an exciting competition between Jurongville High School and Bartley High School of the Department of Physical, Sports and Outdoor Education. of the Ministry of Education (MOE).
With Jurongville chasing his first national title in a decade and his rivals chasing a first-ever triumph, the game broke down as both sides were stuck in battle from the start.
With each school fielding three teams for the three-game finals, Secondary Bartley started strong in the opener, winning 15-8, 15-12 to go 1-0.
The second set proved to be a tighter competition as Jurongville leveled off at 1-1 (7-15, 15-5, 15-11), before their third team edged out Bartley in decision maker 15. -12, 13- 15, 15-10 to achieve victory 2-1.
Jurongville had previously been in the C Division top four in 2018 and 2019, but had not won the B Division title since 2011.
Jurongville player Haziq Akaysah Abdul Rahman said: “I am really very proud of our team because it has been so long since we reached first place.
“Although our performance did not live up to our expectations and there were many improvements to be made, we worked together to clinch the gold.”
The Secondary 5 student added that he lost his “motivation to train” after the National Schools Games ended last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but news of the resumption this season had given them much-needed encouragement.
While there had been joy for Jurongville yesterday, their rivals were reduced to tears.
Bartley Secondary’s 16-year-old Zacky trio said: âIt was very disappointing because I really thought we could do better than that.
“It’s great to compete again and I didn’t expect us to get this far, so it was very disappointing that we couldn’t get what we wanted at the start, which was to get first place.
“We became more motivated to practice despite a hiatus last year, but today a lot of players were really lost on the court. It’s very sad, but it’s great that we at least managed to take second place. “
The Bronze Dams saw Queensway High School beat Marsiling High School 2-0.
Queensway Secondary captain Fazrul Hakimie was pleased with his team’s performance despite the lack of training.
The 15-year-old said: “As there was no competition last year, we weren’t able to prepare well as we weren’t in a position to know the standards of other teams.
“Our goal when entering the competition was to become national champions, but that’s okay, we took third place and we are enjoying (the result).”