STAR Media Group (SMG) created history after winning the Datuk Theng Book Cup Malaysia Media Badminton Tournament for the first time after beating Astro 3-1 in the final at Desa Petaling Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur.
SMG’s best performance prior to this was a second place finish three years ago. The team did not compete in the event for the past two years but came back in style by coming out tops. The tournament started seven years ago.
An ecstatic SMG team manager, Chow How Ban, said the team was in high spirits throughout the event and the multiracial team went all out to capture the trophy.
“Although there were some matches where we were trailing on points, the cheers and motivation from the team players boosted their teammates to win the matches. It was a super performance and I am pleased for the team,” he said.
With the win, the SMG squad received RM2,688 while Astro received RM2,088
Meanwhile, NSTP beat China Press 3-1 to finish third. NSTP won RM1,588 while China Press received RM1,088.
In the VIP-Sponsors category, Ebara edged Ex-Press 3-2 to finish tops while Mpay beat TLC Confinment Center 3-1 to grab third spot.
Former national number one shuttler Wong Choong Hann, who is currently Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director, launched the opening ceremony together with tournament founder Datuk Theng Book.
Theng was very happy as the standard of players competing in the VIP-Sponsors category has improved and stressed that he wanted more online and Indian media to take part.
“Next year, we are looking to give the media RM1,000 to import two players. This will make the media category more competitive.
“I am also looking at introducing a course for CPR for the media as this course is very beneficial for sportsmen and sportswomen.
“Some years ago, one of our team players had a heart attack on court and eventually passed away on the way to the hospital. Knowledge in CPR could have possibly saved the player’s life.
“This tournament is not just about keeping fit but also staying safe, knowing that people can help us in times of need.
“Badminton is a very strenuous sport and injury can happen anytime. The CPR course is to ensure players become aware when an incident happens on court,” he said.
Eight teams — Star Media Group, Astro, NSTP, China Press, Berita Harian, Media Prima, 988DIMSUM and Sin Chew Daily — took part in the Media category.
In the VIP-Sponsors category, four teams — Ebara, EX-Press, MPay and TLC Confinement Center — competed. Each team had to field one women’s doubles, one mixed doubles and three men’s doubles for the team event.
For the Media category, Astro’s Ang Boon Shen won the Best Player in the Male category while NSTP’s Muliani Zakaria won the Best Player in the Female category.
Teoh Zeng Yao from Ebara won the Best Male Player in the VIP-Sponsors category while Mpay’s Ng Mei Fun grabbed the Best Player in the Female category.