* Third-time lucky for Zulfadli
* Fie Cho wins a double – women’s and mixed doubles
In the absence of some of the top names, former world and Asia junior champion Zulfadli Zulkifli make good of the opportunity to add the national men’s singles title in the National Grand Prix Finals which ended in Kuala Terengganu on Tuesday and end 2014 with a bang with a 21-12, 21-15 win over national junior Lim Chi Wing.
The Johor-born Zulfadli who plays for Bangsar Hawks in the Kopiko Purple League, has set his sights on qualifying for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics but he will have to improve on his inconsistency to achieve his dreams. On his way to the national title, Zulfadli also wrote himself into the history books as the first independent player to win the national men’s singles title.
It was third time lucky for Zulfadli, 21, who fell at the semi-stages in the last two national championships. He is currently ranked No 59 in the world.
For Chi Wing it was an end to his fairy-tale run in Kuala Terengganu. In the semi-finals, the 19-year-old Chi Wing pulled off a sensational 21-19, 21-10 win over over Thomas Cup skipper Liew Daren. In the other semi-final Zulfadli took care of new crowned Asean University Games champion Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin 21-10, 21-10.
The women’s singles title went to Uber Cupper Yang Li Lian with the top seed clinching a 21-16, 21-13 win over fast improving Lee Ying Ying in the final.
But the day belonged to Sabah’s Soong Fie Cho who won a double – winning the women’s doubles with Amelia Alicia Anscelly and the mixed doubles.with Mohd Lufti Zaim.
In the women’s doubles final Amelia-Fie Cho pulled off an upset with a 21-17, 21-14 win over top seeds and favourites Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean and in the mixed doubles she partnered Mohd Lufti Zaim to defeat Tan Aik Quan-Lei Pei Jing 21-15, 21-14.
RESULTS (All Finals)
Zulfadli Zulkifli (Sel) beat Lim Chi Wing (BAM) 21-12, 21-15
Mak Hee Chun-Tan Bin Shen (Prk-Sel) beat Tan Wee Gieen-Teo Ee Yi (21-18, 21-15
Yang Li Lian (BAM) beat Lee Ying Ying (BAM) 21-16, 21-13
Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho (BAM) beat Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (BAM) 21-17, 21-14
Mohd Lufti Zaim-Soong Fie Cho (BAM) beat Tan Aik Quan-Lei Pei Jing (BAM) 21-15, 21-14