KUALA LUMPUR: There’s no stopping the “Red and Yellow” train.
Selangor continued their dominance in the AirAsia-BAM National Junior League (ABNJL) National Badminton Finals both their boys’ and girls’ teams beat Penang at Stadium Juara.
The Selangor boys’ team beat Penang 3-0 in the final last year but they were made to sweat this time before prevailing 3-2 yesterday.
The girls’ team overcame first-time finalists Penang 3-1 to also bag their second straight title.
For Selangor head coach Danan Jaya, the wins were sweet as all 15 teams in the Finals have strong players.
“I believe in the power of prayer. I told the players and management to pray that nothing would obstruct their progress in the tournament.
“I urged them to be patient in matches. They worked hard to get their victories because the competition was certainly tense,” said Danan, who will return to his homeland Indonesia for the holidays.
Danan, who has been with Selangor since 2011, also hinted that this might be his last tournament with Selangor but added that the state badminton association would continue looking for more juniors for future ABNJL tournaments.
In the boys’ final, Selangor’s first point came from Muhammad Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar who beat Teh Jin Hong 21-18, 21-10.
Penang fought back through Goh Zhe Boon-Tan Yi Han, who staved off a stiff challenge from Mohd Nor Firdaus Azman-Wong Zheng Wei to prevail 16-21, 21-19, 19-21.
The Islanders got the lead through Low Eu Cong, who easily disposed of Kenny Khew Han Yang 21-6, 21-8 and Penang were in the driving seat in the fourth match when doubles pair Chee Yik Shen-Ooi Yi Yong won the first game 21-19.
They were leading in the second game but Selangor pair Jimmy Wong-Muhammad Zulhairi mounted a spirited comeback to win 21-15 and then taking the rubber game at 21-18.
Chua Jin Yang ensured Selangor’s dominance in the ABNJL when he delivered the winning point with a 21-13, 21-12 win over Goi Zi Chyan.
Kedah settled for third place when they beat Melaka 3-1 in the third-fourth playoff match.
In the girls’ final, Selangor lost the first point when Penang’s Tan Zhing Yi beat R. Kasturi 21-12, 21-17. However, that loss did not dampen Selangor’s spirits as they went on to win the next three matches.
V. Dharshinie-Loh Zhi Wei had to labour to beat Lim Sze Jin-Tan Xin Zon 21-10, 20-22, 21-16 while K. Letshaanaa cruised past Gan Wan Yan 21-5, 21-6.
Lai Zi Ying-Teh Won Quin beat Tan Xin Mei-Teh Yi Young 21-19, 21-5 to give Selangor a 3-1 win.
The Kedah girls’ team finished third when they beat Kuala Lumpur 3-1 in the playoff.