KUALA LUMPUR: North Zone boys’ Under-18 singles champion, Lee Hock Lai of Penang, virtually secured his place in the Grand Finals of the 100Plus Power National Junior Badminton Circuit when he won his second Stage Two Group D match at the Selangor BA Hall yesterday.
Hock Lai, who had stunned Bukit Jalil Sports School’s (BJSS) Loo Yik Xiang 15-8, 15-11 in his opening game on Friday, extended his run with another convincing performance yesterday.
The islander scalped another BJSS player, Tay Chuen Jein 17-16, 15-3 in 35 minutes.
Hock Lai has another tie against Shahrizan Sidek of Selangor later last night and a victory will see him moving on to the Grand Finals which will held from Aug 14-21.
Meanwhile, Shahrizan lost his first game of the competition when he went down to Yik Siang 15-11, 7-15, 15-12 in a closely contested battle that lasted an hour.
The top two players from each of the four groups will qualify for the Grand Finals.
In a Group A encounter yesterday, South Zone champion, Muhd Redza Hassan, who has proven to be a highly capable doubles player as well, moved a step closer to the Grand Finals after defeating Kuala Lumpur’s How Sheng Boon 15-10, 15-4.
The other group match saw Chong Wei Feng receiving a walkover from Kedah’s Ong Jian Win. Wei Feng and Muhd Redza will square off later this evening to decide the top two spots in the group.
BJSS shuttler, Liew Daren, was another player to notch his second win and possibly a place in the next stage when he beat Kuala Lumpur’s Chong Kien Leng 15-11, 15-6 in a Group B match.
Liew had earlier won his opening tie against Sabah’s Beryno Wong, who today picked up his first win against Tan Chee Ping of Johor. Beryno won 15-2, 15-4 to keep his hopes of advancing alive.
In Group C, Chong Li Qun from the sports school has one foot in the final rounds after getting the better of Johor’s Md Hairul Izuan. Li Qun finished off his opponent 15-10, 15-5 in 35 minutes.
The other group tie saw Penang ace Chang Hun Pin cruise past Selangor’s Lee Jian Jong 15-1, 15-7.
The win put Hun Pin back in contention after earlier losing his opening match to Li Qun.
The final group matches for all four age groups, Under-12, Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18, will take place today.
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