IN many cases, you couldn't tell that the players were combining with each other for the first time.
That was how naturally the 85 pairs, who took part in the SportsUnite- Milo-Yonex-MBA Unity Junior Doubles Badminton Carnival at Michael's Badminton Academy (MBA) in Bandar Puteri, Puchong, last weekend, lived up to the spirit of the event.
Despite been paired for the first time with players from other races, the boys and girls showed good combination competing in three age groups - Under-10, Under-12 and Under-15.
SportsUnite executive director Datuk Dina Rizal said the event, held during the last weekend of the recent school holiday, had managed to capture the spirit of national integration in our multi-racial society.
“We are excited about our nation's future prospect in badminton judging from the juniors' approach towards the game.
“We are also pleased to see the remarkable involvement of the parents.
“However, the players should learn to communicate more with each other on the court,” added Dina.
In the Under-10 and Under-12 boys' finals, the matches were decided in rubber sets.
In the Under-10 boys' doubles, Soong Joo Ven, 10, and Fizi Ramli, 9, came from one set down to beat Muhd Alif and Liew Kum Weng 11-15, 15-1, 15-7.
Their fathers, Soong Vyen Yew and Ramli Marjunid, have been playing together once a week at the Selangor Badminton Association (SBA) Hall.
“I am a badminton fan. My sons Norrazawan, 17, and Norrazaman, 14, are Selangor state representatives. I even allowed my six-year-old son, Ikmal, to take part in the tournament,” said Ramli.
Soong from SJK (C) Chen Moh and Fizi from SRK Bandar Sunway are trainees at Setia Badminton Academy and Nusa Mahsuri respectively. As a result, there were facets of Setia chief coach Han Jian's control and national singles coach Misbun Sidek's forehand chop evident in their game.
The crowd from Ampang rooted for 11-year-old Muhd Adib Haiqal and his partner Tan Jia Jin in the Under-12 boys' final. Adib and Tan subdued the challenge from Wong Kar Yong and Ahmad Fadzil 15-10, 10-15, 15-4.
Adib's younger brother, nine-year-old Alif, reached the boys' Under-10 doubles final. Both of them are students of SK Saujana Impian, Kajang.
Their father Nurizwan Omar said the tournament had provided good exposure for his sons, who started playing the game one-and-a-half years ago.
P. Subramaniam from Damansara said the tournament had helped to promote healthy social interaction among young players from various races.
“It was not only the children who gained from it, parents too got the opportunity to mingle with each other,” added Subramaniam.
His younger daughter, Manisha, was runner-up in the Under-10 girls' doubles partnering Ashley Ng while his elder daughter Renuka Subramaniam won the girls' Under-12 with Amy Ng.
At the end of the tournament, Malaysian Book of Records awarded the “Biggest Badminton Hall in Malaysia” to MBA's Bandar Puteri 32-court hall.
MBA director Michael Lee received the award from Malaysian Book of Records managing director Datuk Danny Ooi.
Girls: 1. Cysvia Lim/Temisha Vigres 2. Manisha Subramaniam/Ashley Ng 3. Payee Lim/T. Hisha Vigres 4. Wong Sze Some/Siti Aishah
Boys’ Final: Soong Joo Ven/Fizi Ramli bt Muhd Alif/Liew Kum Weng (11-15, 15-1, 15-7) 3. Tia Ee Jye/Mohd Surfiyuddin 4. Ng Eng Hong/Muhd Yazid
Girls’ Final: Renuka Subramaniam/Amy Ng bt Cysvia Lim/Temisha Vigres (15-9, 15-3) 3. Sheena Ayesha/Crystal Chai 4. Lau Kar Wei/Prieya Ramalingam
Boys’ Final:Tan Jia Jan/Muhd Adib Haiqal bt Wong Kar Yong/Ahmad Fadzil (15-10, 10-15, 15-4) 3. Ng Eng Hong/Zulkifli 4. Arwnid Kumar/Leon Lim
Girls’ Final: Amanda Mun Yee/Tan Phui Cheng bt Lau Kar Mun/Nur Aquilah (15-4, 15-2) 3. Lok Ash Ley/Noor Hawa 4. Chong Yee Xuan/Izaati Ghazali
Boys’ Final: Loke Kok Pong/Sunaidi Nasir bt Danial Syafiz/Wong Guan Wei (15-7, 15-13) 3. Jeff Teck Seng/Weng Kiat 4. Azlan Nazrin/Yong Sei Howe