ALOR STAR: KLRC Bhd's Sairul Amar Ayob finally nailed his first international title this year, winning the Rakan Muda Yonex Sunrise Malaysia International Challenge at the Kedah BA Hall here yesterday.
And the 27-year-old former national player achieved it in a convincing fashion – blowing away the country's top back-up shuttler Tan Chun Seang 21-13, 21-14 in just 30 minutes.
It was Sairul's first international title since winning the Dutch Open last November.
The top seeded Sairul was happy that en route to lifting the title, he defeated three players who will feature in the SEA Games next month. Besides Chun Seang, Sairul also downed Chan Kwong Beng in the third round. In the quarter-finals, he beat Thai Tanongsak Sansomboonsuk.
“It may be a small tournament but I had the satisfaction of beating three SEA Games players,” said Sairul.
“I had expected a stronger fight from Chun Seang. The win here will certainly help me in my bid to get back among the top 20 in the world rankings (he is currently in 28th spot)”.
The KLRC Bhd also pocketed a second title through top seeds Lim Pek Siah-Haw Chiou Hwee in the women's doubles. They beat SEA Games-bound Goh Liu Ying-Ng Hui Lin 23-21, 19-21, 21-11.
It was also a disappointing day for the SEA Games representatives in the women's singles and mixed doubles and men’s doubles events. Julia Wong, Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei and Mohd Razif Abdul Latif-Khoo Chung Chiat lost in their finals.