Kedah youngster defies odds to acquire grand double

One for the badminton album: Mohd Erfan (left) posing with Jing Hong and their coach Linda Wati (centre) after completing a fabulous double in the National Grand Prix final in Kuala Lumpur.

KEDAH’S Mohd Erfan Abdul Rahman emerged as the surprise Boys Under-12 badminton singles champion in the 100-Plus National Grand Prix final held at the Cheras Badminton hall in Kuala Lumpur.

The student from SK Kepala Batas in Alor Setar whose only appearance in a final was in the Boys Under-11 event at the Kedah-Yonex championship last November upset his doubles partner Kok Jing Hong in the quarter-final in three games (9-21, 21-19, 21-19) before marching on to the final to win the title from Johor’s Yap Sai Kuan.

In the final on Sunday, Mohd Erfan, 11, dropped the first game (13-21) before steadying himself to win the next two games (21-15, 21-18) in 37 minutes for his first career title.

Earlier in the semi-final, he beat another Johorean, Mohd Affan Atarek, by three games (11-21, 21-17, 21-15) to make the final.

For the record Mohd Erfan’s victory in the singles was totally unexpected because Jing Hong had won the title in the first leg in Kelantan and second leg in Penang in the north zone circuit and was the hot favourite for the title while Erfan had never made it past the quarter-final in both legs.

He made it a grand double by also winning the Boys Under-12 doubles title with partner Jing Hong. The pair, who are the current national schools (MSSM) Under-12 doubles champion, stamped their superiority in the final beating Terengganu’s Mohd Shahrul Desa and Wan Mohd Arif Shaharuddin by 21-18, 12-21, 21-19 to give Kedah their second title of the championship.

These were the two titles which Kedah managed to win out of 12 events (singles and doubles) for which Kedah players had qualified. Except for the Under-12 events, all the finals were won by players representing Bukit Jalil Sports School.

RESULTS (All finals)

Boys: Under-12 singles: Mohd Erfan Abdul Rahman (Ked) bt Yap Sai Kuan (Jh) 13-21, 21-15, 21-18; Doubles: Mohd Erfan-Kok Jing Hong (Ked) bt Mohd Shahrul Desa-Wan Mohd Arif (Ter) 21-18, 12-21, 21-19.

Under-14 singles: Lim Chong King (B. Jalil) bt Tee Kai Wun (Mal) 21-12, 21-12; Doubles: Chang Yee Jun-Chia Wei Jei (BJ) bt Lim Chong King-Ng Tze Yong (BJ) 21-17, 21-15.

Under-16 singles: Soh Wei Yik (BJ) bt Lee Zii Jia (BJ) 21-17, 21-19.

Doubles: Ameer Amri Zul Zainuddin-Ooi Zi Heng (BJ) bt Mohd Izzudin Shamsul-Mohd Syazmil Idham (Sel) 21-11, 16-21, 21-8.

Under-18 singles: Chin Wai Kin (BJ) bt Bong Guang Yik (Mal) 21-15, 21-14; Doubles: Aaron Chia Teng Fong-Sim Guo Zheng (BJ) bt Goh Sze Fei-Tan Jinn Hwa (BJ) 21-14, 17-21, 21-16.

Girls: Under-12 singles: Go Pei Kee (Jh) bt Valaree Siow Zi Xuan (Prk) 22-20, 17-21, 21-14; Doubles: Cheah Wen Jen-Teoh Le Xuan (Pen) bt Chloe Jennifer Whittington-Odelia Wong Qiao Shi (Kul) 21-15, 21-18.

Under-14 singles: Pearly Tan Koong Le (BJ) bt Ng Wan Win (BJ) 21-16, 21-19; Doubles: Toh Ee Wei-Yap Ling (BJ) bt Ng Wan Win-Pearly Tan Koong Le (BJ) 21-17, 13-21, 21-19.

Under-16 singles: Ng Wi Xuan (BJ) bt Thinaah Muralitharan (BJ) 21-13, 14-21, 21-9; Doubles: Anna Cheong Ching Yik-Ooi Shi Han (BJ) bt Desiree Siow Hao Shan-Ng Qi Xuan (BJ) 21-18, 21-19.

Under-18 singles: Ho Yen Mei (BJ) bt Yap Rui Chen (BJ) 21-15, 21-18; Doubles: Goh Yea Ching-Peck Yen Wei (BJ) bt Raja Nurnina Qamarina-Yap Zhen (BJ) 21-18, 21-18.

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