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Sunday October 14, 2012

Ramdan continues Sidek legacy by winning first title

<b>Making his mark:</b> Misbun Ramdan nailed his first local title by upsetting Mohd Arif Abdul Latif in the men’s singles final of the Pahang Open in Kuantan Saturday. Making his mark: Misbun Ramdan nailed his first local title by upsetting Mohd Arif Abdul Latif in the men’s singles final of the Pahang Open in Kuantan Saturday.

KUALA LUMPUR: His father Misbun Sidek first won the local title in the 1980s. His uncles – Rashid, Jalani and Razif – made their marks in 1990s on the home front.

Yesterday, after almost 17 years without any silverware for the Sideks, Misbun Ramdan, the second son of Misbun, continued the tradition and the rich legacy when he nailed his first local title by upsetting Mohd Arif Abdul Latif in the men’s singles final of the Pahang Open in Kuantan.

The 20-year-old Ramdan took 31 minutes to carve out a 21-18, 21-18 in a tight final. Just a day ago, he had been given a big break when Liew Daren conceded a walkover in the semi-finals after aggravating a back injury.

Ramdan was over the moon with his achievement.

“This is a significant day for me. Finally, I have won my first ever title. It feels good,” said Ramdan, who received a well done call from his father, who is currently in Bintulu, Sarawak, conducting a coaching clinic for juniors under the Nusa Mahsuri’s nationwide development programme.

“This is a start for me. I hope to carry the torch and keep the tradition going in my family and bring more honours for the country,” added Ramdan, who will compete in the Bitburger German Open next from Oct 30-Nov 4.

National singles chief coach Rashid Sidek was proud of his nephew’s breakthrough.

“I was the last from the Sidek family to win a local title in 1995 and now, we have a new generation of player from this family. Personally, as an uncle, I am delighted,” said Rashid.

“His father – Misbun will be very proud too. His dad wanted to push his son to the fore as he believed in his talents and today, Ramdan proved him right. Of course, there is a long way to go for Ramdan but I hope this win will spur him on.”

On a professional level, Rashid attributed back-up coach Hendrawan’s diligence and commitment in raising the standard of the players.

Besides Ramdan, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin also showed plenty of promise despite his semi-final defeat to Arif on Friday.

“Ramdan and Iskandar have improved a lot under Hendrawan as he pushed them in training and gives them the right guidance. It is good to see signs of revival in the back-up squad,” said Rashid.

Unlike Ramdan, Sonia Cheah’s hopes of winning her first local title went up the smoke when she continued to play the bridesmaid to her elder sister Lydia Cheah who won the women’s singles final 21-19, 21-17.

Lim Yin Loo was the star for the day when she swept two titles – the women’s doubles and mixed doubles.

In Division Two, Tan Kian Meng upset second seed Soo Teck Zhi 21-19, 21-17 for the boys’ singles title and put himself in a good stead ahead of the World Junior Championships in China, Japan from Oct 25-Nov 3.

Darren Isaac Deva Dass-Tai An Khang also stayed on track for a good showing at the worlds when they defeated their compatriots Calvin Ong Jia Hong-Tan Wee Gieen 17-21, 21-18, 21-8 for the boys’ doubles title.

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