14 December, 2013 Gloria Lin (Photo by Voxsports) The Char Yong National Youth Top 10 Table Tennis Tournament took place from 12 to 14 December and saw youths aged 9 to 17 fight it out to the championship in the respective age categories. In the Boys Under-18 category, Yin Jing Yuan, Ryan Goh and Kyros Koh clinched the first, second, and third placing respectively, while in the Girls Under-18 and Under-15 categories, Tay Hui Li, Zeng Linda, and Zermaine Nicole Lew were the top three. Ryan also achieved second place in the Boys Under-15 category, with Lucas Tan and Daryl Tan taking home the 1st and 3rd prize respectively. In the Boys Under-12 category, Gerald Yu, Pang Yew En, and Sean Ang emerged as the top three, while Idys Koh, Beverly Low, and Pearlyn Koh came out tops in the Girls Under-12. Finally, the Boys Under-9 category saw Daniel Ng, Jaedon Foo, and Huang Sikai clinch the top three places, while Zhou Jingyi, Charis Pang, and Tan Zhao Yun rounded out the list of champions in the Girls Under-9 category. Other than the Char Yong Tournament, other Cups in the same league are the SAFRA Cup, the Dr Ng Eng Hen Cup, and the Dr Lee Bee Wah Cup. On which of these register as more popular in the table tennis scene here, Laura Wong, Marcom & Events Manager for Singapore Table Tennis Association (SSTA), says players do not make any distinctions. “All are popular,” she says. This sentiment is echoed by the players themselves, who participate in as many cups as possible in order to gain maximum experience playing in a competitive environment. “I take part in such tournaments to improve my experience and skills and to test my training,” says Bryan Wee, who was competing in the Boys Under-18 category. Sharing that his goal is to place top four in two out of three of the tournaments, he adds, “I want to see if my practice has paid off or gone to waste.” Zermaine, who emerged third in both the Girls’ Under-18 and Under-15 categories, concurs: “I want to gain more experience… so participating in more tournaments is a good thing.” With the turnout at these tournaments averaging 700 to 1200 youths, the table tennis scene here seems to be going strong, and according to STTA, the numbers are increasing still. “We have seen a steady increase in numbers, especially after our recent success at the London Olympics,” says Laura. And the hope of further promoting the sport while encouraging more to view it as a life-long activity seems to be present in all of the Cups. Says Li Hui, who clinched first place in both the Girls’ Under-18 and Under-15 categories, already sees table tennis as an integral part of life. “Table tennis brings me a lot of joy... I even prefer table tennis to studying,” she says. Looking ahead to the future, the STTA hopes to attract more sponsors in order to further support the local tournaments.