“Pretty much crushed everyone” was how Vietnamese student Mike described Thai table tennis champion Jacob.
Demolished in the round robin stage, losing 4-0, Mike’s six years of experience was no match against a formidable opponent who has spent double the time in the sport.
The ASEAN Student Games this year showcased extremely talented players from diverse backgrounds in an informal and relaxed setting. Players joked around with their friends, and socialised with each other in between points. In the fast-paced game, matches whizzed by, often lasting no more than five to ten minutes.
Having won a tightly contested semi-final against Indonesia, Malaysian player Zulhakim had a huge cheering squad backing him to put up a tough fight against Jacob in the finals.
The game started with both players confident and pumped, willing to dig deep and fight till the end. Alas, it was not meant to be as Jacob was “too good and too fast”, confessed a disappointed Zulhakim, after bowing out in straight sets.
Simply not a quitter, Zulhakim remains positive, vowing to return stronger, and faster next year.
Crowned champion at table tennis, and not for the first time having taking the trophy at the Southern Uni Games earlier in July, Jacob was all smiles. Having cruised in all his matches in this competition without dropping a set, the happy Masters of Commerce student shyly stated his ambition to represent Victoria one day.
For now, he is content playing socially three times a week and plans to celebrate his success by having dinner with family.
Fantastic effort by the boys, but Jacob’s supreme attacking play was simply flawless. Point Jacob.