The ISL HS Badminton tournament at Robert College took place on the 29th November. The tournament hosted by RC also included the British International School. The day was filled with long and tight matches, but in the end, IICS won Gold in all categories, Silver in four categories, and Bronze (tied) in two categories! In total 11 of the 15 medals (two of these shared with RC).

Last year, IICS won only a few of the medals after a season of training that lasted a mere 5 practices. This season we were better prepared with fitness sessions, technical skills, and tactical practice. It all paid off. Both IICS and RC had lost some of their star players who either graduated, moved away or were busy studying for their finals. This was an opportunity for current teams to become the star players.

I guess the most unexpected result was the stellar performance from Nilsu G. who overcame Helin S. for her first medal– and a Gold at that– in the Girls’ Singles. Nilsu, after months of coaching, improved her drop and smash and gave it her all throughout the day.

Asya C. & Fatema E. (a pair placed together at the last moment), won the a well-deserved Silver in the Girls’ Doubles, with a fantastic result for the pairing of Dongjae Y. & Eunjung S. for Gold.

Helen S. & Ayush J./Jessica C. & Seungjun L. still have to contest the finals for the Mixed Doubles, but have guaranteed Gold and Silver for IICS. This match will take place next week in the upper gym, probably at lunchtime on Monday. This will be match to watch, with both teams very determined to win it!

The Boys’ Singles was particularly exciting and was won by Yuxiao H. Having watched him play some unexpectedly poor shots in earlier rounds, we wondered what he was up to. He pointed out that he was conserving energy for the big games later against RC; he knew he was going to get through and he was going to be fit enough this time around to take them on.

It is important to note how last year’s performance in the Boy’ Doubles (just a few months ago) affected our players. For example, Yuxiao H. and Noel K. were upset about their performances last time around (unjustly hard on themselves). They were determined to not let this happen again.

Noel (almost in warrior mode throughout the day) partnering with Yuxiao in the last match against RC’s best boys, yelped and slid to his knees more in relief that he had finally held himself together to win that first Gold that he so desperately sought. His actions in that moment epitomized the determination, focus, and belief that was evident in the IICS students that day.

So many players–26 in all, many playing for the first time– represented IICS… While I can’t write here each individual’s progress and acknowledge them all, I can say this: this group held together, supported one another, played the game in an exemplary manner, and showed the steel and determination many of them would not have expected of themselves. We can be quite proud of our High School Badminton Team.

My warmest thanks go to our two wonderful assistants, Ms. Falkestrom and Ms. Waters, who did a fantastic job of getting our students so prepared, to Robert College for hosting us, and making us feel most welcome. A special thanks to Mr. Perron for his continued support for the badminton program and always with a smile! Thanks Ali Muren and his Mitur team for getting us there and back safely! Finally, thanks to our students who represented IICS with proud determination.

Boys’ Singles: GOLD- Yuxiao; SILVER- Ayush
Girls’ Singles: GOLD- Nilsu; SILVER- Helen
Boys’ Doubles: GOLD-Yuxiao & Noel; BRONZE IICS & RC Shared
Girls’ Doubles: GOLD-Dongjae & Eunjung; SILVER- Asya & Fatema
Mixed Doubles: GOLD-Helen & Ayush, Jessica & Seungiun; BRONZE IICS & RC Shared

Ji Hun
Dong Hyun (Daniel)
Dae-Young (Noel)
Jacob (Kuba)
Ha Jung (Jessica)
Ju Won
Jeongwon (Annie)

A happy coach,