Under-16 champion aiming for bigger things on international stage


PETALING JAYA: Rising badminton star K. Letshanaa is aiming for bigger things after winning the Under-16 girls’ singles title at the 100PLUS National Junior Circuit Finals in Negri Sembilan.

Letshanaa of Selangor took 48 minutes to beat arch-rival and last year’s champion Arena Satu Samin of Sabah 10-21, 21-9, 21-15 at the Negri Sembilan Chinese Recreational Club yesterday.

Buoyed by the win, she wants to make her presence felt at the Asian Junior Championships in Suzhou, China from July 20-28.

“I’ve become the nation’s best in the Under-12, Under-14 and now Under-16. I now want to show that I can do the same on the international stage too,” said a pumped up Letshanaa.

“I’m looking forward to better result at the Asian Juniors after my debut ended with a first-round defeat last year.

“I was just 15 then, it’s always tough to go up against a senior opponent.

“I’m more experienced now. My game has improved and I’m in better physique.

“I’m looking at reaching at least the quarter-finals.

“I believe I’ve what it takes to keep pace with the higher-ranked opponents. Playing a better player always brings the best out of me,” added the lass, who idolises world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan.

Letshanaa has played in an international tournament once – at the Malaysian International Series last month – but lost in the second round to Putri Kusuma Wardani of Indonesia, who’s ranked fourth in the Badminton World Federation world junior rankings.

Meanwhile, hot favourite Muhd Fazriq Razif notched a a glorious double by sweeping the boys’ singles and doubles titles.

Fazriq knocked out Kuala Lumpur’s Hooi Hao Sherng 22-20, 21-15 in the singles before returning to the court to pick up the doubles crown with Justin Hoh.

Fazriq and Justin outplayed top seeds Rayner Beh-Goh Boon Zhe, their training mates at the Bukit Jalil Sports School 21-14, 21-17.

Fazriq’s double victories must have put a smile on his father and doubles legend, Datuk Razif Sidek’s face, who was present at the stadium.


   

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