Last year’s top four Selangor, Penang, Kedah and Negeri Sembilan marched into into quarter-finals in this year’s 100PLUS National Junior Inter State Team Under-18 mixed team championships at the Negeri Sembilan Chinese Recreation Club (NSCRC) Badminton Hall in Seremban on Friday.
Johor are also back in contention with a 7-0 demolition of Kelantan for their second win in Group C after handing Sabah a 6-1 defeat in a late match on Thursday to finish second in the group behind Kedah. Kedah, third last year completed their group fixtures with an unbeaten record, winning 6-1 against Sabah after wins over Johor (5-2) and Kelantan (6-1).
Kedah defeated Negeri Sembilan 4-3 in the playoff to finish third last year and have set the semi-finals as their initial target this year.
“Last year we were unfortunate to meet Penang in the semi-final and lost 4-2. Now that we have reached the quarter-finals this year we have also revised our target to reach the last four. It does not matter who we play in the quarter-finals as we are better prepared this time around, ” said Kedah coach-cum-manager Hildawati, one of the two Indonesian coaches attached to the Kedah BA.
“The mood in the camp is one of confidence but we tend to take things easy once we are winning. The knockout stage will be different and we cannot underrate any of our opponents and the players are aware of this.”
Hildawati’s concern is understandable as Kedah were taken to full distance in the boys’ second singles before V. Rooben Raj got the better of Mohd Zuhaily Jablin 20-22, 21-15, 21-13 in match which lasted one hour. It was also a three set thriller in the girls’ second singles before Nur Syaza Roshidi won 21-16. 11-21, 21-12 against Grace Lee Yi Ling in 35 minutes.
Sabah secured their solitary point in the boys’ doubles when Seddrick Awyn Gunsalam-Tan Jinn Hwa won 23-25, 22-20, 21-19 against Abdul Jalil Sidek-Muhd Syauqi Puzi. Kedah were also taken the full distance in the girls’ doubles but Eng Sin Jou-Nur Sahira Puzi prevailed 13-21, 21-12, 21-18 against Nur Adilah Syafiqah Adiman-Siti Hafizah Suhaimi.
Malacca sent Sarawak packing with a 5-2 win in the three-team Group A which also has defending champions Selangor. Selangor whipped Sarawak 7-0 in their opening match on Thursday.
Malacca beat Sarawak 5-2
Aaron Chia Teng Fong beat Aaron Chieng Jin Yu 21-19, 23-21
Wong Seng Khen beat Wilson Lau Ngie Ding 21-15, 21-16
Foo Chee Yong-Wong Seng Khen lost to Kam Sing Siong-Owen Ting Shih Yee 19-21, 17-21
Joanne Wee Shoun Zhi lost to Vivienne Kua Yun Jen 7-21, 16-21
Seah Lin beat Kourtney Kho Ker Yin 21-8, 21-12
Anna Cheong Ching Yik-Toh Ee Wei beat Kourtney Kho Ker Yin-Kristy Tay Yong 21-9, 21-11
Sim Guo Zheng-Yap Ling beat Kam Sing Siong-Kam Wei Li 21-14, 21-19
Kedah beat Sabah 6-1
Lee Zhi Jia beat Datu Mohd Shah Eizlan Sardik 22-20, 21-18
Rooben Raj beat Mohd Zuhaily Jablin 20-22, 21-15, 21-13
Abdul Jalil Sidek-Muhd Syauqi Puzi lost to Seddrick Awyan Gunsalam-Tan Jinn Hwa 25-23, 20-22, 19-21
Eng Sin Jou beat Leonilla Alauni Molin 22-20, 21-18
Nur Syaza Roshidi beat Grace Lee Yi Jing 21-16, 11-21, 21-12
Eng Sin Jou-Nur Sahira Puzi beat Nur Adilah Syafiqah Adiman-Siti Hafizah Suhaimi 13-21, 21-12, 21-18
Ooi Zi Heng-Pearly Tan Koong Le beat Nur Suzliyanah Suriansa-Steve Robert 21-15, 21-19
Perak beat Pahang 6-1
Johor beat Kelantan 7-0