GEORGE TOWN: Hosts Penang were crowned overall champions after winning six out of the 16 categories in the 100PLUS National Badminton Junior Circuit Zone A second leg at the Penang Badminton Association Hall.
Penang had also won six titles to capture the overall title in the opening leg in Kota Baru in March.
On Sunday, Penang secured victories in the boys’ Under-14 singles (Liew Jun Rong) and doubles (Kelvin Lim-Jun Rong) and girls’ Under-12 singles (Teoh Le Xuan) and doubles (Cheah Wen Jun-Le Xuan), Under-16 singles (Kong Yi Jin), and Under-18 singles (Chua Cheah Lin) to maintain their hot streak.
“It was a good show by our shuttlers to maintain our six-gold achievement from the first leg, but I feel that we could have added one or two more titles today,” said Penang director of coaching and development Tony Tan.
“It is important that we head into the grand finals (in Kuala Lumpur in June) as the best team from Zone A. We aim to defend our best team award.”
Kuala Lumpur, who only won three golds in Kota Baru, were the most improved squad in the second leg with five titles.
Kedah, who won six golds in the opening leg, could only produce four champions, with Kelantan winning the remaining title through Ahmad Maziri Mazlan-Nik Ahmad Azfar in the boys’ Under-18 doubles.
“The KL players could see where they stood during the opening leg in Kelantan. They trained hard for the second leg and I am happy to see a big improvement in our five-gold performance in Penang,” said KL coach Raymond Steven.
“With the grand finals to be held on our home ground, we are targeting to do well in several categories, especially in the Under-16 and Under-18 events.”
Meanwhile, Malacca’s Bong Guan Yik strengthened his chance for a place in the national back-up squad by winning the boys’ Under-18 singles title in the 100PLUS National Badminton Junior Circuit Zone B second leg at the Gan Hong Hoe Badminton Hall in Malacca.
Guan Yik gave a good account of himself to beat Muhd Lukman Hakim of Selangor 21-16, 21-16 in Sunday’s final.
There was also joy for Malacca in the girls’ Under-18 singles event when Lim Ann Chee fended off a stiff resistance from See To Chia Yee of Pahang for a 22-20, 21-6 win.
Youngster Hamisya Hashuddin also starred for Malacca, contributing two titles by winning the girls’ Under-14 singles and doubles events. In total, Malacca won four out of 16 titles at stake.
Selangor and Johor were the biggest winners, taking home five titles each.