Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tribute to a shama competitor

As I mentioned in my post below, the shama competition held at AMK159 on Sunday, 1st March, had 3 preliminary rounds of 1/2 hour each with a final round in two segments of 15 minutes each.

Desmond Oh, who is well known in shama circles in Singapore and overseas, entered 3 shamas for the competition.  One of them topped the preliminary rounds with 74 1/2 points out of a maximum 75 points.  It is a desirable bird with long curved tails.  It sang and displayed beautifully and if there had been no final round, this bird would have been the undisputed winner.

At the end of the preliminary rounds, my shama Drumbeat and 6 other shamas were in a group with 74 points - in second place just behind Desmond's shama.  These birds, all 3 of Desmond's entries and 20 other shamas qualified for the final round of 30 shamas.

BTW, I am not in favour of having a final round for shamas.  What we love in our shamas is their structure, song and display and this can be assessed in a very short time.  A final round assesses mainly the birds stamina as the birds are by then too tired to sing and display at their best.  I have raised this point with organisers of shama competitions but they feel that the competitors prefer to have a final round because the reduced number of birds makes it easier to see if the judges are being fair.

There were two judges for the final round.  Each assessed 15 birds and then changed places to assess the other 15 birds. The points they awarded were then averaged.

Unfortunately, none of Desmond's shamas made it to the top 6 positions in the final round with all 3 birds receiving consolation prizes.

It would have been understandable if Desmond had been disgruntled at the results but there has been no hint of unhappiness or sour grapes whatsoever from him.  Neither has he criticised the judges or claimed that they did not know how to score.  Instead, he has been sporting and gracious and accepted the judges decisions. This is clearly reflected in his Facebook entry where he wrote on 1st March,  "Today comp at amk 159. Get three consolation.  Good start of 2015."

His Facebook entry shows that he is a gentleman and a fair competitor.  It would be wonderful if all competitors are like him.

The exchange of messages between Desmond and me below reinforces my opinion of the type of competitor he is.

[03/03 16:09] David De Souza: Hi Desmond, I put up this post on my blog. Hope you don't mind. David

[03/03 16:28] Desmond Oh: It ok David . I m just out to enjoy. In comp got cup no cup I don't mind . As long everybody enjoy the game. See a lot of improvement from your breeding. Wish one day we can exchange opinions. 😀👍👍👍

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