At the All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Table Tennis Tournament finals held on Friday, Pedrey Ng Wing-lam of St Paul’s Co-educational College (SPCC) and Yu Nok of Diocesan Boys’ School (DBS) came out on top and were crowned champions in the girls’ and boys’ singles events respectively.
The tournament finals, which had been rescheduled several times due to the ongoing anti-government protests, was finally held at Lai Chi Kok Sports Centre on Friday. However, all doubles events were cancelled. The tournament finals kicked off with a knock-out round featuring the top 16 players in each singles event.
In the girls’ singles finals, defending champion Pedrey Ng Wing-lam went head-to-head against Fung Wai-chu of Concordia Lutheran School (North Point). The SPCC player did not face much competition from her fellow junior national team representative. The Form Five student won two straight sets with scores of 11-5 and 11-8 to establish an early lead.
Although Fung fought hard to take the third set with a score of 11-5, Pedrey did not let another set slip out of her fingers and won the fourth set 11-8, to clinch the girls’ singles champion title again.
In a post-match interview, the 16-year-old said the postponement of the tournament has led to a clash with her final examination schedule and therefore she had been struggling to arrange time for training and revision.
“I had to cut back on my training hours because the final exam is just around the corner. So being able to win the tournament again is indeed a recognition of my hard work,” the SPCC student said.
The Form Five student added she was pleased with her performance in the finals, as she was able to keep calm when her opponent scored five points in a row in the third set.
“I didn’t sleep much recently and I was very exhausted. But when I reached the top four, I just kept pushing and motivating myself to carry on,” she said.
Meanwhile in the boys’ singles event, the finals was an “infighting” match between DBS players Yu Nok and Brian Shih. Yu, who came in second place at the tournament last year, showed his determination to salvage his lost gold medal in the finals.
The 14-year-old won three straight sets, 11-9, 11-9 and 11-4 to defeat his fellow schoolmate to be crowned the boys’ singles champion. Yu was thrilled to be able to make up for the mistakes he made last year, when he did not treat the competition seriously.
“Many people told me I was the favourite at the tournament, so I became too relaxed and came unprepared,” said Yu. “Losing in the finals last year crushed me, but it also prompted me to change my mentality. This year, I came well-prepared.”
This year’s championship title holds a special place in Yu’s heart, as it will be his last year to play for DBS. The Form Three student has decided to become a full-time athlete, and he has great ambitions to catch up with senior players on the national team.
“I hope in two year’s time, I will be able to catch up with the other elite players. My long term goal is to win medals in international competitions, and take part in the Olympic Games.”