Penang repeated its feat in last year’s championships by winning three out four titles in the 100PLUS National Interstate U-16 Boys, U-12 Boys and Girls this year which is held at their home ground; the Bukit Dumbar Badminton Hall.
The Islanders team missed out in the U-16 Girls after losing to Selangor in the semifinal but managed to salvage a third place. They were champions in last year’s edition.
Kedah meanwhile, was not given much hope this year, reached the semifinals stage in the U-16 Girls and U-12 Boys.Their U-12 Boys made all the way to the finals and nearly created a major upset against Penang.
Their U-16 Girls finished in fourth place after was defeated by Penang in the third and fourth placing match yesterday.
Perak meanwhile also showed a glimmer of hope after also made to the semifinals in the U-16 Boys and managed to grab the 2nd runners up spot after defeating the 4th seeded Selangor in the third and fourth placing match.
Penang coach Razlan Abdullah said despite the achievement, he is a little disappointed as their earlier aim was to make a clean sweep of all the titles in front of the home crowd this year.
“It was however not down to the players fault but on us the coaching team as the tactical arrangement we made, did not turn to our favour this time around.
“This was our best chance to claim the all the titles. The U-12 Boys who lost last year, have made up by emerging champion this year but we never expect the U-16 Girls to succumb in the semifinals,” he said.
Meanwhile Perak coach Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari said he did expect his boys to emerged third as they do not have a solid team this year and just relying on the two singles players to rake in the points.
“This is however a good outing for us, as the rest of the teams are still young and have time to be developed further,” said the hopeful coach.
This year’s tournament saw seeded team Sabah failed miserably in the group stage. The Sabahans were runners up in the U-16 Boys and Girls categories and third place last year.
Teams like Johor, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur are the regular challengers every year for the titles and only Selangor managed to break Penang dominance in the U-16 Girls this time.
Putrajaya and Perlis are new teams which with new coaches and good development with a few surprise wins in this year’s championships.
Upcoming Kuala Lumpur big names such as legendary national badminton player Razif Sidek’s son Muhd Fazriq, however did not meet expectation after losing in the finals and also lost in the semifinals matches.
He who was paired with Bryan Jeremy Goonting in the U-16 Boys doubles, lost in the semifinals but still made to the finals after their two singles won their matches.
In the finals against Penang, the 15-year-old failed to keep his nerve by losing in rubber sets despite his team was leading after winning the first singles. It was the turning point for Penang who clinched the title by winning the last singles.