ALL the boys’ singles winners scored double victories at the Fleet-Challenger Junior Badminton Championships that concluded at the Challenger Sports Centre in Taman Cuepacs, Cheras, recently.
They were Chua Kek Wei (boys’ Under-13), Ai Wei Jian (boys’ Under-15) and Loke Kok Pong (boys’ Under-17).
The duo of Chua and Ai are training under Selangor Badminton Association programme while Loke is from Kuala Lumpur.
In the boys’ Under-13 singles final, Zulhelmi Zulkifli who suffered a muscle strain on his left leg in the second game, conceded defeat to team mate Chua.
After going down 16-21 in the opening game, Zulhelmi’s father Zulkifli Sidek recalled that the youngest of three siblings surged ahead with a 11-4 lead in the second game before retiring when he was holding at 14-10.
“Zulhelmi also paired up with his brother Zulfaiz in the boys’ Under-15 doubles. He played seven matches alone on the first day. And the demanding competition schedule was too much for him and had to pull out eventually,” Zulkifli said.
Zulfaiz-Zulhelmi were the losing semi-finalists when they went down fighting 20-22, 20-22 against the eventual runners-up Puah Chen Hau-Shahrul Shazwan.
Meanwhile, Challenger Badminton Academy (CBA) trainee Ho Yen Mei provided the joy for the hosts when the 12-year-old bagged the girls’ Under-12 singles title.
Although Eng Pui Yee took the first game 21-11 against her regular doubles partner M. Thinaah of Selangor, she was forced to fend of the strong resistance before prevailing with a 22-20 win to seal the match in the final.
“It was an interesting encounter when she (Eng) lost in the girls’ Under-15 quarter-finals against the eventual runner-up (Nur Ain Syuhadah Mohd Nazri) from Negri Sembilan. The spectators also got into it supporting their favourite in the match,” said Liew
Nur Ain had a slow start and bounced back from a game down to force the rubber game. In the decider, Nur Ain fended off Eng’s challenge for a hard-earned 9-21, 21-18, 21-19 to advance.
However, favourite Ho Yen Mei from Kuala Lumpur proved to be too strong for Nur Ain as Ho cruised home with a commanding 21-5, 21-6 win in a tame final.
The recent meet drew more than 300 participants in several age groups.
The boys competed in both singles and doubles of the three age groups while the girls only featured in the singles of Under-12 and Under-15.
CBA chief coach Liew Gavin said the junior shuttlers under the state training programme dominated the two-day tournament at their newly-set up hall.
“They were far ahead of other competitors as they marched into the semi-finals. The running of the event was the best ever and we completed the matches according to plan,” he added.
Singles: Julian Chin bt Muhammad Syafiq 21-11, 21-19
Singles: Chua Kek Wei bt Zulhelmi Zulkifli 21-16, 10-14 (rtd)
Doubles: Lim Zhan Le-Chua Kek Wei bt Choo Chi Earn-Mohd Sufiyuddin 21-19, 22-20
Singles: Ai Wei Jian bt Puah Chen Hau 21-17, 17-21, 21-11
Doubles: Ai Wei Jian-Woon Man Chun bt Puah Chen Hau-Sharul Shazwan 21-18, 21-12
Singles: Loke Kok Pong bt Teh Min Yee 21-10, 21-7
Doubles: Loke Kok Pong-Chia Yi Jie bt Teh Min Yee-Mohd Farid Naslim 21-17, 21-16
Singles: Eng Pui Yee bt. M. Thinaah 21-11, 22-20
Singles: Ho Yen Mei bt Nur Ain Syuhadah Mohd Nazri 21-5, 21-6