It was the perfect gift for birthday boy Ong Zhen Yi as he delivered the winning point for Penang U-16 team to win 2-1 against Kuala Lumpur in the final of the 100LUS National Interstate U-12 & U-16 Championships 2019 here at the Bukit Dumber Badminton Hall.
Zhen Yi who celebrates his 16th birthday today, won in straight sets against Hooi Shao Herng (21-13, 21-15) for Penang to defend the title which they won in Kelantan last year.
The team however was forced to make a comeback after their first singles Samuel Lee was outplayed by Kuala Lumpur’s Justin Hoh (17-21, 8-21), but the doubles saw the pair of Goh Boon Zhe/Rayner Beh Chun Meng raised their game to eventually win against the favourite Bryan Jeremy Goonting/Muhammad Fazriq Razif (21-17 14-21 21-18).
It was a dramatic end-to-end games and the doubles game was the turning point as it was dragged into rubber sets. Penang eventually trumped against Kuala Lumpur.
U-16 Girls, Selangor finally emerged champion after they were made to sweat by Johor after winning 2-1.
Its first singels Letshanaa Karupathevan beat Carmen Ting Wei Wen in straight sets (21-11 21-10) before their doubles of Ho Lo Ee/Loh Zhi Wei lost Hoe Shi Yun/Oh Jia Qi (18-21 22-24).
But Siti Nurshuhaini Azman finally clinched the title for Selangor after defeating Lim Shin (21-19, 21-18).
For U-12 Boys, Penang made up for their loss last year after missing out the U-12 Boys title by defeating Kedah by 2-1. Tan Zhi Shen lost the first singles to Kee Is Qian (13-21, 13-21), Martin Lam Yi Jie/Nixon Ang Jie Shen won against Chua Yi Xuan/See Yi Shin (23-21, 21-13), Tan Zhi Yang won against Loh Zi Heng (16-21 14-21).
The Penang team was third in Kota Bharu, Kelantan last year and Selangor was the champion while Johor came in second.
As for the U-12 Girls, Penang grabbed their first title of the day after vanquishing Kuala Lumpur by 2-0. The girls were triumphant after Christine Lam Mei He won in three sets against Lee Kay Xin (19-21, 21-14, 21-10). The doubles pair of Lim Zhin Shin/Nicole Tan Pei En won the title by beating Teh Xin Ying/Yap Jing Ning (21-15, 22-20).
The Girls defended their title which they won last year.
For third and fourth placing, the U-16 Boys Perak created an upset by winning against Selangor by 2-1 and grabbed the number three spot after Anson Cheong started the ball rolling by defeating Chua Kim Sheng (21-12, 21-9) in the first singles.
Selangor came back with their doubles pair of Kenny Khew Han Yang/Mohd Haris Sufian bin Rushdan beat Perak’s Chun Zhen Thai/Edward Cheong (21-14, 21-18). But Perak stamped their dominance by winning the last singles when Ewe Eon Eogene crushed Yap Juin An (21-15, 21-16).
While in the U-16 Girls, Penang salvaged a third place finishing by defeating Kedah 2-1 in a thrilling game. The Islanders went ahead when Khor Jing Wen ousted Lim Qian Thong (21-16, 21-8).
But their doubles of Lee Xin Jie/Tan Sheng Thing lost focus and succumbed to sisters Cheng Su Hui/Cheng Su Yin (12-21, 20-22) and Tan Zhing Yi was made to struggle before recording a win against Yeshveenii Kalaiseluan (20-22, 21-19, 21-14)
In the U12 Boys, Kuala Lumpur eased past 2nd seed Johor with a 2-0 scoreline after winning the first singles and doubles. Tan Yu Xiao won against Chee Hong Wei (21-19, 21-17) and their doubles of Irfan Aqil Muhd Najib/Lee Jian Xun blasted past Shaun Teo Jin Herng/Yew Jun An (21-9, 21-16).
And in the Girls category, Selangor also recorded an aesy win against Pahang by 2-0 after their girls won both the singles and doubles. Nilasha Kalishvaran swept aside challenge from Nisa Farina Nordin (21-7, 21-16) and Carine Tee Xin Qi/E-Shwen Sheyeon Wong defeated Cheok Xin Yi/Chleo Yeo Feng Yun in three sets (21-17, 13-21, 21-18).