KANGAR: Chan Kwong Beng of Perak proved he is the top boys’ Under-18 shuttler in the country with a resounding 15-10, 15-5 victory over Negri Sembilan’s Mohd Arif Latif in the singles final of the National Schools (MSSM) Badminton Championships at the Wawasan Hall here yesterday.
The 17-year-old top seed from Bukit Jalil Sports School overcame a slow start to blast his way past a lethargic Arif.
Arif took a 7-3 lead in the first game but could not reproduce the kind of performance that took him past second seed Lok Chong Chieh in the semi-final on Thursday, committing numerous unforced errors.
“I did not expect to win so easily. Arif was not his usual self and was giving me easy points by hitting the shuttlecock out of play frequently in the second game,” said Kwong Beng.
“He had a good start, but once I settled down, I took control at the net and just waited for him to make mistakes.”
Kwong Beng’s maiden MSSM Under-18 singles title came on the back of an impressive victory in the Kedah Open Division Two men’s singles category last month.
“The back-to-back singles titles are a big boost for me to continue working hard at becoming a top level singles player for Malaysia.
“My next target is to make it a hat-trick of titles in the Pahang Open Division Two men’s singles event in Kuantan next week,” said Kwong Beng.
The all-Kuala Lumpur girls’ Under-18 final was an anti-climax with Lydia Cheah and Stephanie Shalini pulling their punches to conserve energy for the doubles final later in the day.
Lydia won 11-0, 11-7 to add the Under-18 singles crown to the Under-15 title she won last year.
But the Kuala Lumpur duo were unable to wrest the doubles title, losing 15-9, 15-17, 13-15 in an 80-minute struggle against Selangor’s Ng Hui Lin-Lim Keh Wei.
The victory was sweet revenge for Hui Lin, who lost to Lydia in last year’s Under-15 singles final and to Stephanie in Thursday’s semi-final.
Vivian Hoo of Kuala Lumpur proved that her stunning victory in the Kedah Open Division Two women’s singles final last month was not a fluke by taking out top seed Sannatasah Saniru of Sabah in the girls’ Under-15 singles final.
Despite losing the first game 4-11, the 15-year-old rallied to win 11-4, 11-3 in the next two games to set herself up as a serious challenger to Lydia in the Under-18 category next year.
“I have surpassed my expectations. As the reigning Under-15 champion, I am looking forward to giving my former doubles partner Lydia a tough fight in next year’s Under-18 competition,” said Vivian.
Selangor’s Zulfadli Zulkifli and Kedah’s Lim Pei Xuan were the doubles champions in the Under-12 categories.
Zulfadli took his collection of MSSM gold medals to five after beating Johor’s Teo Ee Yi twice in the space of two hours.
Defending champion Zulfadli downed a determined Ee Yi 15-13, 15-3 in the singles final and then partnered Zainul Ariffin to beat Ee Yi-Lim Sin Yi 15-11, 9-15, 15-6 in the doubles.
Petite Pei Xuan of Kedah was the surprise Under-12 girls’ singles champion. She defeated teammate Tan Khong Yuen 4-11, 11-9, 11-4 in the final. The duo bagged the doubles title with a 5-15, 15-12, 15-3 victory over Kuala Lumpur’s Sonia Cheah-Shevon Lai.
Kedah’s Chong Chieh-Lim Khim Wah’s giant-killing run came to an end when they were defeated by second seeds Tan Wee Kiong-Poh Chai Boon of Johor 15-10, 15-12 in the boys’ Under-18 doubles final.
Under-12 singles: Zulfadli Zulkifli (Sel) bt Teo Ee Yi (Joh) 15-13, 15-3.
Under-12 doubles: Zulfadli Zulkifli-Zainul Ariffin (Sel) bt Teo Ee Yi-Lim Sin Yi (Joh) 15-11, 9-15, 15-6.
Under-15 singles: Kuan Kam Chung (Kul) bt Teo Kok Siang (Joh) 15-5, 15-13.
Under-15 doubles: Mak Hee Chun-Wong Hai Hong (Prk) bt Low Wei Sheng-Goh Sze Boon (Nse) 15-6, 15-3.
Under-18 singles: Chan Kwong Beng (Prk) bt Mohd Arif Latif (Nse) 15-10, 15-5.
Under-18 doubles: Tan Wee Kiong-Poh Chai Boon (Joh) bt Lok Chong Chieh-Lim Khim Wah (Ked) 15-10, 15-12.
Under-12 singles: Lim Pei Xuan (Ked) bt Tan Khong Yuen (Ked) 4-11, 11-9, 11-4.
Under-12 doubles: Tan Khong Yuen-Lim Pei Xuan (Ked) bt Sonia Cheah-Shevon Lai (Kul) 5-15, 15-12, 15-3.
Under-15 singles: Vivian Hoo (Kul) bt Sannatasah Saniru (Sab) 4-11, 11-4, 11-3.
Under-15 doubles: Sannatasah Saniru-Yvone Ong (Sab) bt Tiffany Currier-Ong Boon Hui (Mal) 15-8, 15-17, 15-7.
Under-18 singles: Lydia Cheah (Kul) bt Stephanie Shalini (Kul) 11-0, 11-7.
Under-18 doubles: Ng Hui Lin-Woon Keh Wei (Sel) vs Lydia Cheah-Stephanie Shalini (Kul) 9-15, 17-15, 15-13.