Future stars shine bright at 100PLUS National Junior Circuit

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The future of Malaysian badminton is bright if the quality that was on display at the just concluded 100PLUS National Junior Circuit (first-leg) is anything to go by.

The likes of K. Letshaana, Evelyn Ng, Goo Vie Keat and sister Vie Nie as well as Hafizullah Mohd Shukran-Azim Izzudin Rosli shone through amongst the huge number of players that took to the courts at three venues around the country.

The story was in Penang where national junior player K. Letshaana once again showing her talent with a grand double – winning the girls’ Under-16 singles with a smashing 21-11, 21-11 win over Sabah’s No 1 seed and favorite Arena Satu Samin.

She also added the girls’ Under-16 doubles title with Loh Zhi Wei. The duo outplayed Johor’s Ler Yee Huey-Teoh Ju Kee 21-18, 21-10.

Hailed as a “future star” by national juniors coach Kwan Yoke Meng, Letshaana’s idols are 100PLUS Ambassador Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei, a former world No 1 and Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, the reigning World No 1.

Last year Letshaana donned Malaysia colors in the Asian Schools Championships in Nagpur, India and did well to reach the quarter-finals.

She also played in the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Bintaro, Jakarta.

“I want to be a world champion. I have my goals and I am determined to achieve that. A lot of hard work is in store and winning this 100PLUS Under-16 title is another boost for me, what more when I beat the top seed Arena for the title,” said Letshaana.

The Selangor lass has been winning titles at the National Junior Circuit and the National Schools (MSSM) championships and she is certainly a star in the making and there is more to come from the 16-year-old.

Without a doubt, the 100PLUS National Junior Circuit is the perfect grooming ground for this young badminton talent. Names like Sabah’s Andrew Aguwell (winner of the boys’ Under-14 singles and runners-up in the doubles with Carlester Cleve James) and Selangor’s Selina Loh Hor Yan (girls’ Under-14 singles winner) and Sabah’s Sharlym Vivian George-Cassey Rynn Rompog (girls’ Under-14 champions) also deserve mention. 

Another talent coming through this circuit is Kelantan’s Goo siblings – Vie Kieat, winner of the boys’ Under-16) and sister Vie Nie, who, although could only finish runners-up in the girls’ Under-16 singles showed her potential when she showed top seed Tan Jet Sin of Pahang the exit in the semi-finals with a 21-16, 24-22 win.

Samuel Lee, the Penang Under-16 champion, may have lost his final to Selangor’s Chua Kim Sheng but learned the hard way not to underrate any opponent. He is another future national material. So are Johor’s Liew Xun-Ng Tze Chian – winners of the boys’ Unde-16 doubles.     

Melaka’s Tan Yan Yi (girls’ Under-16 champion), Kedah’s Pannimaler Balan-K. Yeshweeni (Under-16 doubles champions). Vannee Gobi of Perak (Under-14 singles) stole the show in Alor Setar.

However, Pahang needs special mention for sweeping seven of the 12 titles at stake in Putrajaya – winning the girls’ Under-16 (Evelyn Ng Yan Yi), Under-14 (Nicole Yeo Feng Yue) and Under-12 singles. Pahang also swept the girls’ Under-16 doubles (Evelyn-Tan Jet Sin) and the Under-12 doubles while Terengganu won the Under-14 doubles.

Putrajaya were double winners in the boys’ Under-14 – taking the singles through Amirul Amin Mazeham who later partnered Azhar Adam Danish for the doubles.

For the young shuttlers, the 100PLUS National Junior Circuit is a plus point for their badminton talent and career. The circuit taps badminton talent from all corners of country.

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