Even before the competition begun, Victorians were already buzzing with excitement for the last day of the highly anticipated 14th Singapore International Wushu Competition. Victoria’s very own Wushu team had done the school proud in previous years, thus there was a lot of hopes and expectations riding on the team’s shoulders to uphold their excellent track record. When the coach had arrived to ferry supporters from the college campus to Toa Payoh Stadium, throngs of Victorians flocked to board the vehicle. Unfortunately, some were turned away because the bus was already bursting at its seams. However, their eagerness to support the Wushu team is still greatly appreciated!
Upon reaching the venue and entering the indoor stadium, it was clear that emotions were running high. The seating gallery was completely filled with supporters from various schools, and the parapet was covered with massive banners bearing the schools’ name and crest. Despite the humidity and stuffiness, the supporters continued cheering as loudly and as passionately as they could. One would only have to crane one’s neck to catch a glimpse of the competition that was going on down on the judging arena to understand why these supporters were so enthusiastic.
On the sidelines, all the competitors had donned their respective costumes and were coolly surveying their competition or stretching their bodies, with some even squeezing some last minute practise in! They were certainly eye-catching in their striking and dazzling outfits; however, what caught our attention were the performances put up by those in the judging arena. We had arrived in time for the A Division Boys’ Group Quanshu, in which competitors were to execute a 1.5 to 3 minute long performance. The competition kicked off with our boys’ team from Victoria Junior College.
Our boys certainly set the benchmark high with their impressive performance, nailing their stunts and showcasing their teamwork through their synchronised movements. As they moved powerfully across the arena, the crowd cheered louder and louder, spurring them on to finish their routine as smoothly as they had started. Their performance earned themselves a score of 8.81, placing them second in this event. Following VJC’s performance, Hwa Chong Institution, Yishun Junior College, Meridian Junior College, and River Valley High School executed their routines and earned themselves a score of 8.90, 8.65, 8.48, and 8.75 respectively.
Next, it was time for the A Division Girls’ Group Quanshu event. Our girls showcased their routine after Dunman High School and River Valley High School. Their performance was swift and smoothly executed, and, despite one or two missteps, they pushed through and ended with a powerful group pose. The girls earned themselves a score of 8.38, placing them fifth in this event. Hwa Chong Institution, Meridian Junior College, River Valley High School, and Dunman High School achieved a score of 8.73, 8.66, 8.65, and 8.56 respectively in this event. Although VJC’s girls’ team was slightly disappointed with the results, they stayed hopeful and were determined to buck up for the next event.
After a four-hour break, during which the other divisions competed, it was once again time for our A Division Boys to compete in the Group Weapon event, a fitting conclusion for the competition. In this event, participants were to execute a 1.5 to 3 minute long performance with the use of a liu ye dao, or willow-leaf broadsword.
In their blazing red costumes and with their shiny swords, the boys wowed both the judges and the audience alike with their routine. Their skilful movements and daring stunts earned them a standing ovation and an impressive score of 8.81, placing them second in this event. Hwa Chong Institution, River Valley High School, Yishun Junior College, and Meridian Junior College earned a score of 8.93, 8.73, 8.53, and 8.25 respectively.
The Boys’ event was followed by the Girls’. Our girls team held their heads up high and executed their routine with a series of precise kicks and confident splits. Their bright yellow costumes accentuated their dexterity and complemented the powerful moves of their silver swords, enhancing their deftness which certainly won the admiration of the crowd. Unfortunately, the competition were tough, and their score of 8.65 placed them fourth in this event. Hwa Chong Institution, River Valley High School, Meridian Junior College, and Dunman High School earned themselves respective scores of 8.78, 8.71, 8.70, and 8.63.
Following the end of the A Division events, everyone waited with bated breath for the results to be tabulated. Movement in the whole stadium seemed to reach a standstill as the announcer stepped forth to share the results, we were all hoping and praying for both teams to do well and step up on the podium proudly — not because winning was the only thing important to us, but for the wushu teams to harvest the fruits of their labour and be duly rewarded for it.
Finally, the results were announced, and much to our delight, the Boys’ team clinched second place and the Girls’ team achieved fourth place overall. Everyone in the audience — teachers, coaches, schoolmates — brought the cheers to new heights upon the revelation of the results; while our teams did not manage to defend their title as the overall champion and first runner-ups respectively, their efforts were no less commendable and everyone was proud of them. One of the supporters, Shevaun from 18A13 praised, “It is clear that the Wushu team trains very hard, and they deserve the achievements they have gotten. They have done their best, and that is what is important.”
Another supporter, Jing Lin from 18S48, mentioned that seeing “the competitors support for one another was heartwarming”. What was memorable and striking about that day was not just the stellar results achieved by both teams, but rather the values exhibited that made them shine brightly amongst the sea of eager competitors.
No matter the result, our Wushu teams displayed sportsmanship throughout the competition. On the playing field, they accepted their given score gracefully; off the playing field, they took the initiative to remain by the sidelines to cheer for and congratulate the other competitors tirelessly. Although they were from different teams and competing against one another, ultimately, they shared the same burning passion for the sport and the common goal of delivering the best Wushu performance possible. Truly, our wushu boys and girls exemplified the values and spirit of being a Victorian!
As one famous Wushu watchword goes, “A wushu master is first valued for his moral character, not for his physical power”. Our Wushu teams’ journey that started last year and continued until the competition this year has certainly been no stroll in the park, yet with determination and self-discipline, they pulled through and eventually achieved superb results! Congratulations to VJC Wushu! Nil Sine Labore!
Lim Xin Yi, 18A15
Kong Min Yee, 18A15
Natasha Chan, 18A15