Penang and Kedah come out tops in Interstate badminton championships

KUALA LUMPUR: Northerners Penang and Kedah showed that they have taken the tilt in youth badminton by powering to both the girls' and boys' Under-16 titles at the 100PLUS National Interstate Team Championships at the PBA Badminton Hall in Bukit Dumbar.

On Sunday, in the final of the girls' Under-16 category, hosts Penang showed plenty of resilience to beat Johor 2-1 while in the boys' event, Kedah upset the form book by dumping defending champions Selangor 2-0.

Penang did not have the best of starts against the team that had emerged third last year, when Oo Shan Zi, who was recently promoted to the national senior squad, fell short against a well-composed Dania Sofea Zaidi in the first singles match.

Dania, a two-time Under-16 champion of the Johor Closed Youth Badminton Championship, showed plenty of grit to come back from a 13-21 defeat in the first game to capture the next two 21-19, 21-17, giving Johor the first point.

However, Penang were not about to be undone in front of the home fans as they stormed back to draw level in the doubles match through Christine Lam Mei He-Nicole Tan Pei En. Christine-Nicole took just half an hour to pick apart Hasyni Devid Sahathevan-E Yun Lai 21-12, 21-15.

Down to the pivotal second singles match, Lim Zhi Shin duly delivered the winning point by beating Zi Yu Low 16-21, 21-12, 23-21.

With Penang winning their second title in two years and Johor coming in second, the third spot went to Selangor, who edged Kuala Lumpur 2-1 in the classification tie.

Meanwhile, in the boys' Under-16 final, Selangor did not have it their way as they found it hard to breakdown a determined Kedah who came out with guns blazing.

Branson Hee, who had won all his matches in the boys' singles earlier, was served with an awakening by Kee Is Qian, who clawed back from a first game blemish to oust the former 20-22, 21-11, 21-14.

Rattled, Selangor tried to get back into contention in the doubles match but Kedah's Louis Tan Hom-Loh Ziheng were just too good as they took just half an hour to romp past Tiew Wei Jie-Tiew Yi Cheng 21-17, 21-18.

Perak came in third in boys' category after edging Penang 2-1.

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