Kedah and Sabah made to go the distance before winning titles

KEDAH retained the Sukma men's team badmintion title with a hard-earned 3-2 victory over Federal Territories at the Kemaman MPK Hall yesterday.

And Sabah were also required to go the full distance in the women's final against Malacca to secure the gold medal.

Chong Wei Feng gave Kedah the lead with a battling 21-14, 13-21, 21-10 win over FT's top player Liew Daren. But Pang Zheng Lin-Goh Jian Hao failed to press on the advantage and allowed FT to level the tie, going down 14-21, 17-21 to Cheah Liek Hou-Chin Chuan Jue.

Kedah again relied on their singles prowess to regain the lead when Lok Chong Chieh overcame Kuan Kam Chung 21-19, 21-13 in the second singles. But Tan Aik Quan failed to deliver the winning point in the third singles, allowing Chong Li Qun to send the tie into a decider with a 21-13, 21-12 victory.

And it was left to Chong Chieh-Lim Khim Wah to become the heroes for Kedah and they rose to the occasion to beat Goh Wei Shem-Liew Daren 22-20, 22-20.

In the women's final, Florah Ng delivered the opening point for Sabah with a 21-18, 22-24, 21-10 win over Ong Boon Hui. But national champion Julia Wong pulled Malacca level with an easy 21-10, 21-12 win over Ng Paou Leng.

Sannatasah Saniru put Sabah 2-1 ahead with a 22-20, 13-21, 21-19 win over Tiffany Chase. But Julia again had a hand in drawing Malacca level in doubles partnership with Yeow Mie Xi, beating Paou Leng-Amelia Anscelly 12-21, 21-14, 21-17.

In the deciding match, Yvonne Ong-Sannatasah brought joy to Sabah. They defeated Tiffany-Lee Meng Yean 16-21 21-16, 21-15.

In the playoff for the bronze medal, Johor recovered from a 0-2 deficit to defeat Penang 3-2 in the men's competition while the FT women did not drop a single game in a 3-0 win over Kedah 3-0.

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