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#ChallengeAccepted, #ChallengeAccomplished

2020 Australia National Youth Cup
2020 Australia National Youth Team Challenge

It was a sweet ending to the 18th Australia National Youth Team Challenge in Melbourne when Singapore Sports School’s eight bowlers lifted the Combined Team trophy for the first time since the school’s maiden participation in 2012. This is Sports School’s eighth appearance in nine years.

Over the three-day tournament from 14 to 16 January 2020, the Sports School team comprising four girls – Althea Dang Thanh Ly, Jade Ooi, Jerlyn Lam Si Ting and Shirlene Wong Xue Lin – and four boys – George Yin Xu, Gerald Teng Woo Kiat, Heng Jun Rui and Lim Ding Xi – displayed commendable teamwork and resilience to deliver a good set of results. The girls clinched the fourth Female Overall Champion title for the school, while the boys finished Male Overall Runner-Up. They also returned with 4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals, up from the 2 golds, 3 silvers and 2 bronzes won in 2019.

16-year-old Althea was the tournament’s top performer as she snagged a hattrick of gold medals, out of a possible four, in the Under 21 tournament. The Secondary 4 student-athlete delivered solid performances to win golds in the Female Singles and Doubles, and a Team silver, to place her first in the All Events. Her combined total of 3,801 pinfalls gave her a 156-pinfall margin between her and Australian Chloe Jones, with Shirlene (Secondary 3) completing the podium. Althea and Shirlene were named Female All Stars, an award presented to the top four bowlers in each gender in the All Events.

“My competitive experience in 2019 has made me more mature in my decision-making and thought processes. I felt more prepared mentally and physically this year as compared to last year. Greater self-trust when executing shots, and being able to better handle pressure and expectations enabled me to keep calm and focused during the competition, to bounce back from after bad shots and maintain composure after good ones,” said Althea.

In the Doubles, Althea and Shirlene proved to be an undefeatable duo as they knocked down 2,600 pinfalls to topple the tournament’s record of 2,598 pinfalls set in 2018. Their high score gave them a lead of 237 pinfalls over their Australian rivals who finished second.

It was a similar result in the Male Singles as in the Female event, with Gerald Teng Woo Kiat and George Yin Xu (Secondary 4) coming in 1st and 3rd respectively.

The Secondary 4 bowler had taken a 180-degree mindset shift since the preceding tournament – the Australia National Youth Cup – from 11 to 12 January. It was through deep reflection after a disappointing 21st-place finish in the Youth Cup that Gerald realised he was fixated on the outcome instead of on the process. Gerald’s new focus and strategy on ensuring his shots were executed well paid off as he grabbed the runner-up prize in the Male All Events, as well as the All Stars award.

Althea and George were Sports School’s medallists at the first of two tournaments in Melbourne. The pair won a silver each at the National Youth Cup, which featured only the Singles event, contested by under-21 bowlers.
Sports School’s bowlers shone both on and off the lanes; showing that they were All Stars not only in bowling but in character as well.

“The Singapore Sports School athletes are so kind, caring, strong willed and humble,” shared New South Wales representative Emily Johnston. “I’ve never met a single one that is rude or mean, even if you beat them they congratulate you the first moment they see you. I think the Australian bowling community could look to them as an example of how to treat people both on and off the lanes.”

2020 Australian National Youth Cup
Male (Under 21)
2nd – George Yin Xu

Female (Under 21)
2nd – Althea Dang Thanh Ly
9th – Shirlene Wong Xue Lin

2020 Australia National Youth Team Challenge (14-16 January 2020)
Female Singles
1st – Althea Dang Thanh Ly
3rd – Jerlyn Lam Si Ting
4th – Shirlene Wong Xue Lin
19th – Jade Ooi

Female Doubles
1st – Althea Dang Thanh Ly and Shirlene Wong Xue Lin
6th – Jade Ooi and Jerlyn Lam Si Ting

Female Team
2nd – Althea Dang Thanh Ly, Jade Ooi, Jerlyn Lam Si Ting and Shirlene Wong Xue Lin

Female All Events
1st – Althea Dang Thanh Ly
3rd – Shirlene Wong Xue Lin
7th – Jerlyn Lam Si Ting
19th – Jade Ooi

Male Singles
1st – Gerald Teng Woo Kiat
3rd – George Yin Xu
12th – Heng Jun Rui
18th – Lim Ding Xi

Male Doubles
6th – Gerald Teng Woo Kiat and Heng Jun Rui
7th – George Yin Xu and Lim Ding Xi

Male Team
4th – George Yin Xu, Gerald Teng Woo Kiat, Heng Jun Rui and Lim Ding Xi

Male All Events
2nd – Gerald Teng Woo Kiat
8th – Heng Jun Rui
9th – George Yin Xu
17th – Lim Ding Xi

Overall Championship
Female Champion
Male Runner-Up
Combined Team Champion

Other Awards
All Stars – Althea Dang Thanh Ly, Gerald Teng Woo Kiat, Shirlene Wong Xue Lin
Director’s Award – Jerlyn Lam Si Ting