For the second year running, these juniors captured three of the four prizes and earned a handsome RM6,000.
They were crowned champions in the Boys Under-16, Boys Under-12 and in the Girls Under-12 team events.
Their only hiccup was in the Girls Under-16 challenge. But Penang coach Razlan Abdullah still wore a delightful smile because the Under-16 girls finished third and still won RM500.
“I have every reason to be happy. It’s never an easy feat to bag three gold medals and a bronze for the second year in a row,” said Razlan at the end of the five-day challenge at the Bukit Dumbar courts in Jelutong.
“Our ability to maintain such a performance clearly reflects on the consistency of our players, even when our youthful ones are coming and going when they come of age.
“As such, the glory rightfully belongs to the players themselves. They deserve to equally share the bulk of cash awards earned,” he said.
For Ong Zhen Yi, who celebrated his 16th birthday on the final day of the challenge, it came as his most accomplished moment since he delivered the team’s winning point in their 2-1 triumph over archrival Kuala Lumpur.
Until his winning display, Penang’s struggle hung in the balance against Kuala Lumpur with Samuel Lee crashing to a straight game defeat to Justin Hoh at 21-13, 21-15.
When the Penang partnership of Goh Boon Zhe and Rayner Beh Chun Meng stood up boldly against Bryan Jeremy and Muhammad Fariq Razif to put Penang back on level terms, it was a hard-fought 55 minutes, ending at 21-17, 14-21, 21-18. Penang did not look back after that.
When Zhen Yi stepped into the court for the decisive second singles, his 21-13, 21-15 victory over Hooi Shao Herng in 40 minutes firmly confirmed Penang its third title.
And the crowd even sang him the birthday song.
In the Boys Under-12, Penang edged its northern neighbour Kedah 2-1, while the Girls Under-12 outfit handed Kuala Lumpur a 2-0 defeat, without having to play the second singles.
(All Finals)Boys Under-16: Penang bt Kuala Lumpur (2-1)
Boys Singles: Samuel Lee lost to Justin Hoh (17-21, 8-21); Ong Zhen Yi bt Hooi Shao Heng (21-13, 21-15).
Boys Doubles: Goh Boon Zhe - Rayner Beh Chun Meng bt Bryan Jeremy Goonting - Muhammad Fariq Razif (21-17, 14-21, 21-18).
Boys Under-12: Penang bt Kedah (2-1)
Boys Singles: Tan Zhi Shen lost to Kee Is Quin (13-21, 13-21); Tan Zhi Yang bt Loh Zi Heng (21-16, 21-14).
Boys Doubles: Martin Lam Yi Jie - Nixon Ang Jia Shen bt Chua Yi Xuan - Shee Yi Shan (23-21, 21-13).
Girls Under-16: Selangor bt Johor (2-1)
Girls Singles: K. Leshanaa bt Carmen Ting Wei Wen (21-11, 21-10); Siti Nurshuhaini Azman bt Lim Shin (21-19, 21-18).
Girls Doubles: Hoh Lo Ee - Loh Zhi Wei lost to Hoe Shi Yin - Oh Jia Qi 18-21, 22-24).
Girls Under-12: Penang bt Kuala Lumpur (2-0)
Girls Singles: Christine Lam Mei He bt Lee Kay Xin 21-19, 21-14.
Girls Double: Lim Zhi Shin - Nicol Tan Pei En bt Teh Xin Ying - Yap Jing Ning (21-15, 22-20).
Bronze (Play-offs): Boys Under-16: Perak bt Selangor (2-1)
Boys Singles: Anson Cheong bt Chua Kim Sheng (21-12, 21-9); Ewe Eon Eogene bt Yap Juin An (21-15, 21-16).
Boys Double: Chun Zhen Thai - Edward Cheong lost to Kenny Khaw Han Yong - Mohd Haris Sufian Rushdan (14-21, 18-21).
Boys Under-12: Kuala Lumpur bt Johor (2-0)
Boys singles: Tan Yu Xiao bt Chee Hong Wei 21-19, 21-17.
Boys Doubles: Irfan Aqil Muhd Najib - Lee Jian Xun bt Shaun Teoh Jin Herng - Yew Jun An (21-9, 21-16).
Girls Under-16: Penang bt Kedah (2-1)
Girls Singles: Kong Jing Wen bt Lim Qian Thong (21-16, 21-8); Tan Zhing Yi bt K. Yeshvenni (20-22, 21-19, 21-14).
Girls Doubles: Lee Xin Jie - Tan Shen Thing lost to Cheah Su Hui - Cheng Su Yin (12-21, 20-22).
Girls Under-12: Selangor bt Pahang (2-0)
Girls Singles: K. Nisilasha bt Nisa Farina Nordin (21-7, 21-16).
Girls Doubles: Carine Tee Xin Qi - E-shwen Sheyeon Wong bt Cheok Xin Yi - Yeo Chioe Feng Yun (21-17, 13-21, 21-18).
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