Apr 30, 2015


Defending champions Malaysia bounced back from a preliminary round defeat against Singapore to turn the tables on their neighbours following a 2-0 victory in the third-fourth placing playoff match in the ISTAF SuperSeries KOREA 2-14/15 at Wolmyeong Arena.

National head coach Abdul Ahmad Talib benched Sahidan Ali (tekong) and KhairolZaman(striker) in the starting line-up and instead introduced HairulHazizi(tekong), team captain ZuleffendiSumari(feeder) and MohdZamree as striker against the Singaporeans.

On the opposite end, Singapore replaced AfifSafiee(striker) who played in the shocking win over Malaysia on Thursday with AsfandiJa’al but maintained  FarhanAmran as tekong and FarhanAman in his feeder role.

The strategy worked in Malaysia’s favour, which emerged champions in ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA 2014/15 - the second round of the series in Malacca two months ago but ran into troubles here in Gunsan, coasting through 21-18, 21-9 wins in 42 minutes.

“It was not what we had targeted for but to beat Singapore and finish third is a good achievement as the players had learned from earlier mistakes,” said Malaysian head coach Abdul Ahmad Talib. “We will return study our performance here to avoid similar situations in the Kings Cup.”

The Malaysians will next compete in the Thai King’s Cup World Championship from May 4-10 and the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) from June 6-15 in Singapore while the fourth leg of the ISTAF SuperSeries is scheduled in September.

Meanwhile, defending champions Thailand won both the men and women’s championships against Korea with identical scores of 2-0. The men’s team won 21-10 and 21-19 while the women were stretched to the limits before winning 21-12, 21-18.

The Mayor of Gunsan City, Moon Dong Shin presented the ISTAF Super Series Trophy to the Thai men’s team.

SittipongKhamchan’s near perfect service accounted for almost 40 percent of the points gained while ThawisakThongsai once again played the leading role as striker, punishing the Koreans with his powerful bicycle kicks.

The Koreans, who won the opening round of the ISTAF SuperSeries INDIA 2013/14 in New Delhi, once again paraded their best line-up that includes ImAnSoo(striker), Park Hyeongeun(tekong) and Jeong Won Deok(feeder).

Nevertheless it was a proud moment for the Korean men and women teams in Gunsan City after both were knocked out in the semi-finals stages at the last series.

“Overall we are very satisfied with our performance here,” said coach Yoo Dong Young. “I believe the men and women’s teams have improved tremendously since the last series in Malacca and now look forward to the Thai King’s Cup World Championships in May.”


Men’s Final: Thailand bt Korea 2-0 (21-10, 21-19); 3-4th: Malaysia bt Singapore 2-0 (21-18, 21-9); 5-6th: Indonesia bt Myanmar 2-1 (21-10, 16-21, 21-17); 7-8th: Japan bt China 2-0 (21-17, 21-15)

Women’s Final: Thailand bt Korea 2-0 (21-12, 21-18); 3-4th: Indonesia bt Vietnam 2-0 (21-16, 21-13).


Tickets for Liverpool FC’s pre-season match against the Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur today went on sale to fans. To mark the launch of the general ticket sale, 75 fans from the Malaysian official LFC supporters clubs, All Reds Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur Kopites gathered, to watch the Reds take on West Bromwich Albion at a viewing party held in Kuala Lumpur’s Cobra Club.

Liverpool FC’s first team will return to Malaysia for the first time since their successful 2011 pre-season visit to play the Malaysia XI at Bukit Jalil Stadium on the 24th July 2015. The match, organised by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and promoted by ProEvents International Sdn Bhd, will offer LFC’s Malaysian fan base the opportunity to see their team first hand.

Liverpool FC Vice-Captain, Jordan Henderson said: “We have over eight million followers in Asia and to get the chance to play in front of 85,000 in Kuala Lumpur is an incredible opportunity.

“The reception we received from our Malaysian fans during the 2011 visit was unbelievable and I am looking forward to being able to experience that first hand this time around,” he added.

Julian Kam, CEO, ProEvents Group said: “The wait is over and we are excited to launch the Liverpool match tickets today. In 2011, the Bukit Jalil National Stadium was electrifying with 85,000 fans and we are expecting to replicate the same and it will be a great Friday night at Bukit Jalil.

“For the past few weeks we have received many enquiries for match tickets and corporate hospitality. We encourage all the fans to get their match tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment,” he added.

As well as a full Liverpool FC squad, the touring party will include coaching staff from the Club's charity, Liverpool FC Foundation, to carry out work in the community throughout the visit as well as taking part in events with official LFC supporters' clubs.

Match tickets for Malaysia XI vs Liverpool FC are priced at RM88, RM158, and RM228 with a limited number of VIP seats available at RM428 and RM328.

Feb 18, 2015


Scots College of New Zealand, famous for its rousing haka dance and mesmerising opposing teams, will once again feature in the MCKK Premier 7s 2015 Rugby Tournament  from 28th February to 1st March at the hallowed grounds of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar, Perak.

The Kiwis, together with Vajiravudh College of Thailand and Hong Kong Sports School, are the three international schools who will be joined by 21 other Malaysian schools in the tournament.
Scots College is best remembered for defeating two-time champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School of Johor (SSTMI) 43-0 in the semi-finals stage and Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman (STAR) in the 2014 Cup final with score of 36-14.

However, along the way Scots College had shattered the hearts of many pretenders to the title by winning matches with huge margins with at least five tries in each game while only SMK Sultan Yahya Petra 1 from Kelantan and STAR dared to cross the line of defence.

Jointly organised by the Malay College Kuala Kangsar and All Blacks Revival (ABR) Committee of The Malay College Old Boys’ Association (MCOBA), the MCKK Premier 7's 2015 has the support of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

MCOBA President, Dato’ Ghazali Mat Ariff said the MCKK Premier 7s 2015 Rugby tournament under the patronage of His Royal Highness the Sultan of Perak, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan Nazrin Muizuddin Shah Ibni Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfurlah, will continue to enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere this year.

“It is without doubt the most prestigious school rugby tournament in Malaysia. The objective of organising the MCKK Premier 7s 2015 Rugby tournament is to encourage the revival of rugby among the participating schools and to assist in shaping the development of rugby in Malaysia,” said Dato’ Ghazali Mat Ariff at a press conference today at the MCOBA Building in Kuala Lumpur.

Among those in attendance at the launch of the MCKK Premier 7s 2015 Rugby tournament were Dato’ Dr. Ramlan Abd Aziz, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Sports Institute who is also a former student of MCKK, Firdaus Monir, the General Manager of IT & Network Technology Telekom Malaysia, Wan Kamaruddin Wan Mohamed Ali, the Co-chairman of the Organising Committee, MCKK Senior Assistant for Co-Curriculum Azmi Jimat, Tournament Director Amrul Hazarin Hamidon, sponsors and former MCKK students.

The MCKK Premier 7's 2015 involve teams from Malaysian premier schools, state champions and international schools. It is an Under-17 age-group Invitational International Tournament where 24 school teams will compete for the honour of winning the coveted NJ Ryan Trophy.

The NJ Ryan Cup is in honour of the late Dato’ NJ Ryan, who initiated the formation of a rugby team in MCKK and was also the ninth principal of then college. The Malay College All Blacks, as it was popularly known, went on to become a rugby powerhouse in the country, winning many state and national level championships. Later on, at the turn of the century, the rugby team experienced a decline in fortunes and found it hard to compete with other rising rugby forces at the school level in Malaysia.

In 2009, MCOBA decided to try their best in arresting the downward progress and the All Blacks Revival Committee was born. Immediately, they planned and devised a way to uplift the standard of rugby in MCKK and ultimately, other rugby playing Malaysian schools.

Dato’ Ghazali added that the MCKK Premier 7s 2015 Rugby Tournament is of national interest as it involves the top rugby schools from every State in Malaysia and top rugby-playing schools from neighbouring countries.

Two-time champions Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School of Johor (SSTMI), 2013 champions The Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), Kelantan’s SMK Sultan Yahya Petra 1, Sekolah Tuanku Abdul Rahman (STAR), SMK Sains Selangor (Kuala Lumpur), Sekolah Sultan Alam Shah (Putrajaya), SM Sains Hulu Selangor and Royal Military College (RMC) are expected to lead the local challenge against the foreign schools.

The other schools competing are Kolej Vokasional Arau (Perlis), SM Sultan Abdul Halim, SM Sains Pokok Sena (Kedah), SMK King Edward VII (Perak), Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Gombak, SMK Taman Kosas (Selangor), Victoria Institution, Sekolah Dato’ Abdul Razak (SDAR), SMK King George V (Negeri Sembilan), Kolej Yayasan Saad (Malacca); Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Kuantan (Pahang), Sekolah Menengah Sains Sultan Mahmud (Terengganu) and SMK Agama Sheikh Haji Othman Abdul Wahab (Sarawak), as announced by the Tournament Director, Amrul Hazarin Hamidon

“The Organising Committee wishes to take this opportunity to record our appreciation for the support provided by Telekom Malaysia Berhad as the Title Sponsor of the MCKK Premier 7s 2015 Rugby Tournament,” said Dato’ Ghazali, adding that the tournament would not have been possible without support from the corporate sector.

He also acknowledged the support provided by all major sponsors, in particular Bloomberg TV Malaysia, Ranhill Bhd, Cyberview, Proton, Modenas, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, Carisbrook, Supreme Landmobile & Wireless Corporation and SA Kargo Sdn Bhd. 


Malaysia defeated reigning champions Thailand 2-0 in the final of the ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA 2014/15 MELAKA at the Malacca International Trade Centre today.

It was Malaysia’s first ever ISTAF SuperSeries victory, created in this 753-year-old historical city of Malacca which is also where the game of sepaktakraw originated in the 15th century according to written records in the Malay Annals or Sejarah Melayu.

The Malaysians won 21-7, 21-19 in 50 minutes to capture the coveted trophy in this second round of the ISTAF SuperSeries 2014/15, witnessed by the Malacca State Executive Councillor for Sports and Health, Datuk Hj Ab Rahaman Ab Karim, National Sports Council director-general Dato’ Ahmad Shapawi Ismail and more than 3,000 fans who had filled the seats in MITC two hours prior to the start of play.

The Thais have been a dominant force since the 2011/12 inaugural event, winning all ISTAF SuperSeries tournaments. It is also the first time that the national sepaktakraw team defeated the Thais after their gold-medal winning effort at the 2005 SEA Games in Manila, closing a 10-year-old sad chapter.

The hosts also played second fiddle to the Thais in the final of the season opening ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR 2014/15 following a 2-1 defeat at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium in Nay Pyi Taw last November.

Malaysian coach Abdul Talib Ahmad, said: “This has been a fantastic moment for us. Our players rose to the occasion and this mesmerised the Thais in the first set. Syahir (Rosdi) played some superb serves and Farhan (Adam), Hanafiah (Dollah) and Khairol (Zaman) did most of the damage at the net.”

“We made tactical changes and that served us very well. This victory has been a boost in our preparation for the third round of the ISTAF SuperSeries and the SEA Games,” added Ahmad.

Malaysia made one change to the side that defeated Singapore in Saturday’s semi-finals. The introduction of Hanafiah as striker instead of the regular Khairol in the first set alongside team captain and feeder Farhan and Syahir (tekong) was a tactical change that mesmerised Thailand.

The Thais had ace striker Thawisek Thongsai in their side, rested the left-footed Siriwat Sakha as tekong in place for Kritsanapong Nontakote instead but retained Panupong Petlue in the feeder’s role.

But the day certainly belonged to the Malaysians, who were simply mercurial at all fronts with Syahir serving out seven aces at speeds of 75km/h while Hanafiah and Farhan combined effectively with a total of 11 spikes domination the net to win the first set 21-7 in 18 minutes much to delight of the fans.

The second set went Malaysia’s way in the initial stage with the hosts leading 6-3 but the Thais drew level at 8-8. However, the introduction of striker Suriyon Koonpimon, replacing Panupong, changed the momentum of the game, bending very much towards the Thais who for the first time shot into a 10-8 lead and then 15-12 much to chagrin of the Malaysian bench and fans.

Coach Abdul Talib’s decision to introduce Khairol at this stage, proved to be a turning point for the Malaysians. The nippy striker proved to be a bane to the Thais as his leaping spikes and perfect timing to block any attempts by the champions proved fruitful.

The Thais rallied back strongly to level at 17-17 and then closed in at 19-19 but another ace from Syahir moved the hosts to 20-19 and in the ensuing rally Suriyon sent the ball out much to the celebration of fans, players and team officials.

In the match for third-fourth placing, Korea defeated Singapore 21-16, 21-16 for some consolation while Myanmar edged China 21-16, 21-13  to claim fifth position and Indonesia made up for their group stage disappointment with a 21-18, 21-17 victory over Japan to end seventh.

The National women’s team once again avoided finishing in last position with a 21-8, 21-9 victory over Japan. The inexperienced Malaysian side closed fifth in the tournament, emulating their position in the season opening ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR 2014/15 in Nay Pyi Taw in November last year. Myanmar, meanwhile, saw off Korea 21-17, 21-15 to finish third.

Thailand, who won every single ISTAF SuperSeries title since the first tournament commenced in 2011, showed no sign of giving up their dominance of the game by defeating Vietnam 21-8 in the first set 12-12 in the second.

ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA 2014/15 MELAKA is the second leg of the ISTAF SuperSeries after the success of the opening round in Myanmar. The tournament is jointly organised by the International Sepaktakraw Federation (ISTAF) and Asia Sports Ventures (ASV), ISTAF’s exclusive global commercial and developmental partner. It is being held with the support of the Malacca State Government and Sepaktakraw Association of Malaysia.

ISTAF SuperSeries MALAYSIA 2014/15 MELAKA was televised on ASTRO Arena, ASTRO SuperSports, ASTRO SuperSports HD and RTM. For the very first time, fans could also catch all four days of tournament action live on www.sepaktakraw.org.


Men’s Competition
Final: Malaysia bt Thailand 2-0 (21-7, 21-19).
3rd-4th Playoff: Korea bt Singapore 2-0 (21-16, 21-16).

Women’s Competition
FINAL:  Thailand bt Vietnam 2-0 (21-8, 21-12).

3rd-4th Playoff: Myanmar bt Korea 2-0 (21-17, 21-15)

Jan 9, 2015


Fearless Estudiantes FC are ready to take on Gamba Osaka in the Frenz International Cup 2015 quarterfinals at the Maybank Stadium in Bangi tomorrow after emerging from the group stages as one of the front runners.

Wins over AIFF India (3-0), Frenz United Malaysia (4-0) and defeating Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 gave the Argentineans a three-match unbeaten run, and head coach Desio Hermes does not want his boys to stop there.

“We have not analysed their (Gamba Osaka) games. We will only decide on what to do after we do our research,” said Hermes, who has nothing but praise for the tournament. “It is an honour to play here, and we are glad we accepted the invitation. It is such great experience for my players to play different opponents from different countries.”

Hermes was also reserved about his team's chances in the next match, adding: “We are just aware that to be the best, we have to keep challenging the best, so we just want to look forward to playing stronger opponents from here on.”

Estudiantes will be banking on Lazzarini Emiliano and Cejas Juan Bautista, who have been a threat to their opponents in the group stages with their speed.

On the opposite end, Gamba head coach Hironari Umezu is looking to see his side attack more often against Estudiantes. Strikers Taichi Takeda and Tappei Kawanami will return to action after sitting on the bench in the 1-0 defeat to FC Porto. Taichi has three goals to his name and will spearhead Gamba’s scoring machine.

“We did not risk them against Porto because they picked up yellow cards. But I do want to see my team attack more often against Estudiantes," said Hironari.

Meanwhile, the other quarterfinal match will be an all-European affair as Portugal’s FC Porto faces Spurs at the Shah Alam Stadium. Group C leaders Porto have been playing consistently with two wins and a draw, and head coach Antonio Jose Dos Santos Folha said the Portuguese team will be firing on all cylinders against their English opponents.

“We never hold back. Our philosophy is to always play our strongest hand, and that is what we will do,” said Folha, who insists that their plan is always to score as many goals.”

Spurs certainly have their work cut out for them as Porto's well organised movement will make it hard for coach McKenna Kieran Thomas' boys to breach Porto's net.

But Thomas will have forwards Harrison Shayon Adam and Loft Ryan George Henson, who scored two goals apiece, to lead the charge.

"I have not actually seen any of our opponent's (FC Porto) games, but we will have a plan ready,” said Thomas. “Our goal is to help the team stay in the tournament for as long as possible, because it means more high quality matches and more experience for the boys. We will be looking forward to the quarterfinals.”

In Palembang, Indonesia, Head coach Mohamad Zahid Hashim says Frenz United Indonesia is mentally and physically prepared to take on the greater challenge against S.C. Internacional in the quarterfinals at the Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium in Jakabaring tomorrow.

“We will face one of the strongest teams here and it is not going to be easy for us,” said the Malaysian. “Technically we have the skills to take them on. We are prepared both mentally and physically against the Brazilians.”

“They (Internacional) are a very polished and skilful side. But I told the players that nothing is impossible if we get things going right from the very beginning. We need to shake them off with early goals,” added Zahid.

Frenz United Indonesia’s route to the quarterfinals began with a 6-5 defeat against England’s Liverpool FC and then held to a 1-1 draw by Netherland’s Feyenoord FC before crushing Guangzhou Evergrande of China 3-0 to finish second in Group A, five points adrift of table leaders Liverpool.

The Brazilians, on the opposite end, scored a total of 14 goals while their defenders allowed two goals to past through. They started their campaign with a 3-1 win over Spanish side Valencia CF, thrashed Thailand’s Chonburi FC 6-0 and concluded Group B fixtures with a 5-1 victory over J-League side Kashima Antlers.

A team blended with 14 Indonesians, seven Malaysians and three Iranian players, FUI will look to striker Reza Habil Karimi and Ade Ivan Hafilah, who returned from a hamstring. Ade combined well with Reza to score the second goal against the Chinese in his first match of the tournament but has not been fully tested.

FUI had a light training session at the Bumi Sriwijaya Stadium this morning and the morale in the team is equally high.

“We have to put in a lot of effort against the Brazilians. It’s got to be more than just 100 per cent if we want to win. There are no shorter ways. The FIC is a highly competitive tournament with quality teams,” said Zahid, adding that Malacca-born Yugan Poobathy will not be in the line-up as he is serving a two-match suspension for picking a red card against Feyenoord.

Meanwhile, Internacional head coach Ricardo Cobalchini is keeping his options open, not wanting to reveal too much for the quarterfinals tie.

“We have watched FUI and they have depth in all departments. It is not right to single out any player who needs extra watch as the team is strong in defence and attack. But we have our strategy,” said Cobalchini.

Striker Matheus Carvalho Resende, Tulio Marcus Rodrigues, Alexandro Perreira, Ronald Santanna Rodrigues and midfielder Bruno Jose De Souza have all had their names on the score sheet and will pose a danger to FUI.

Quarter-finals fixtures:
In Kuala Lumpur – Saturday (10, January, 2015): Estudiantes FC v Gamba Osaka (4.30pm, Maybank Sports Complex, Bangi); Tottenham Hotspur v Porto FC (7.30pm, Shah Alam Stadium).

In Palembang – Saturday (10 January, 2015): Liverpool FC v Valencia CF (4.0pm); Frenz United Indonesia v SC Internacional (8.30pm). Both matches played at Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium.

Nov 24, 2014

InstaPutra juara pusingan ketiga SepakTakraw League (STL)

ALOR SETAR (23 NOVEMBER 2014): Saingan pusingan ketiga Sepaktakraw League (STL) Zon Utara melabuhkan tirai dengan pasukan InstaPutra muncul juara dengan menewaskan Infratel ‘A’ pada perlawanan akhir yang berlangsung di Stadium Tertutup Sultan Abdul Halim.

InstaPutra, diperkuatkan tekong kebangsaan Fazil Asri, Anuar Samsudin dan Afifuddin Razali mencatat kemenangan 21-13, 21-14 ke atas Infratel yang diwakili Fauzi Ibrahim, Daud Muhamad dan Jamadi Mazlan untuk muncul juara sekaligus membawa pulang hadiah wang tunai RM5,000.

Kemenangan ini juga menyaksikan InstaPutra layak beraksi di pusingan Grand Finals Januari depan, bersama-sama dengan Mazatech ‘A’ dan ATM ‘F’ yang muncul juara pusingan pertama dan kedua di Terengganu (Zon Timur) pada 13 – 16 November lalu.  

Manakala Infratel selaku naib juara berpuas hati dengan hadiah wang tunai RM3,000 dan layak beraksi di pusingan play-off bersama-sama Warisan AZ ‘A’ yang muncul pemenang tempat ketiga selepas menewaskan ATM ‘J’ dan meraih RM1,000.

Pada perlawanan penentuan tempat ketiga yang berlangsung tiga set, Warisan AZ dibarisi dua bekas pemain kebangsaan, Nazirul Ikram dan Zul Effendi Sumari serta Fadzlihaimi Jamaludin tewas 13-21 pada set pertama tetapi bangkit menang dua set berikutnya 21-19 dan 21-12.

Hadiah kepada pemenang disampaikan oleh Presiden Persatuan Sepaktakraw Malaysia (PSM), Dato’ Haji Ahmad Ismail yang hadir menyaksikan perlawanan bersama-sama Naib Presiden III PSM, Dato’ Mohd Yusof Ismail, Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negeri Kedah, Muhammad Mahazi Ibrahim dan Exco Belia dan Sukan Negeri Kedah, Aminudin Omar.  

Terdahulu pada perlawanan separuh akhir, percaturan berani jurulatih InstaPutra, Muhamad Saffar merehatkan tekong berpengalaman, Fazil Asri dan membariskan Faiz Roslan sebagai tekong utama hampir membawa padah apabila InstaPutra mencicirkan beberapa mata mudah sebelum kemasukan Fazil membantu mereka mencatat kemenangan 21-18, 21-12. 
Infratel ‘A’ pula menewaskan ATM ‘J’, juga menerusi ‘straight set’ 21-14, 21-15.

STL yang diperkenalkan buat julang kalinya sebagai usaha merevolusikan arena sepak takraw tempatan dilancarkan secara rasminya oleh Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Khairy Jamaluddin pada 7 November lalu. Selepas Kuala Terengganu, dua lagi pusingan berlangsung di Kedah pada 22, 23, 29 dan 30, disusuli Johor dan Melaka sebelum Grand Finals berlangsung di Kuala Lumpur.

Suku Akhir: InstaPutra mng AMZ Sports ‘A’ 2-0 (21-11, 21-13); Infratel ‘A’ mng PSNP 2-1 (21-14, 17-21, 21-18); Warisan AZ ‘A’ mng ATM ‘G’ 2-1 (21-12, 11-21, 21-18); ATM ‘J’ mng IL-MPSJ 2-1 (15-21, 21-12, 22-20)

Separuh Akhir: InstaPutra mng Warisan AZ ‘A’ 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) & Infratel ‘A’ mng ATM ‘J’ 2-0 (21-14, 21-15) 

Tempat Ke-3 : Warisan AZ ‘A’ mng ATM ‘J’ 2-1 (13-21, 21-19, 21-12)

Akhir : InstaPutra mng Infratel ‘A’ 2-0 (21-13, 21-14)

Kedah - (Stadium Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar; 22-23 Nov & 29-30 Nov).
Johor - (Stadium Tertutup Pasir Gudang; 13-14 Dis & 20-21 Dis).
Melaka - (Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Melaka, Bukit Seringit; 27-28 Dis, 2014 & 3-4 Jan, 2015).

Grand Final - (Stadium Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur; 10-11 Jan & 17-18 Jan, 2015).

#STL #SepakTakrawLeague #ASV


After a three-week search for the most talented badminton players amongst our youth, the Axiata Cup Juniors screened 24 winners who will now take on a bigger stage in next month’s National Finals.

The Axiata Cup Juniors Talent Search journeyed its way through 12 states from up north Perlis to the southern tip of the peninsula, Johor, and the east coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

An estimated 1,300 students from government, private institutions and badminton academies paraded their skills after going through a filtration process led by former international Cheah Soon Kit, who won the men’s doubles silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics together with Yap Kim Hock, and his panel of selectors.

The 12 boys and 12 girls who emerged champions in the respective states at the end of the preliminary stage will now compete in the National Finals on December 4-7 at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras – in the hope to be crowned Axiata Cup Juniors National champion, paving the way as the future life-blood of badminton in Malaysia.
In Negeri Sembilan, SMJK Chan Wa 2 Fourth Former, Ngai Yong Kien defeated Lee Jia Jun 21-9, 21-18 to emerge boys champions while Kelly Siow Zhi Xin of SMK King George V overcame a determined Lee An Nie 21-12, 21-18 in the final which lasted 15 minutes.

Doubles specialist Helmie Zulhaidee Zulman, 16, from SMK Segambut surprised all by claiming the boys singles title in the Kuala Lumpur trials with a 21-18, 21-16 victory over 15-year-old Lim Jia Lek from Chong Hwa Independent High School, Jalan Ipoh. Both players are also members of the Synergy Badminton Academy and are familiar with each other’s style of play.

“I have never played in a singles match in any tournament before this as I am more of a doubles player. My coach told me of the Axiata Cup Junior and persuaded me to take up the challenge,” said Helmie. “I am excited with this victory and will train hard for the National Finals.”

The KL trials also showed the rise of one the famous Saha clans - Dyvylyn Saha.

The 13-year-old is the daughter of Davincy Saha, and granddaughter of Hj Sanusi Mohamad who was the coach and father of Malaysia’s most famous badminton-playing family, Saha brothers, all of whom had represented the nation in badminton. Davincy himself played in four All-England championships, going through the qualifications round. His best outing was a third round elimination against the mercurial Zhao Jianhua of China.

The SMK Seri Bintang Selatan player defeated Ng Joe Ee 21-5, 21-8 in the final which lasted 30 minutes. While Dyvylyn earned a bye in first round, Joe Ee went through the entire process and was clearly drained by fatigue during her encounter with the eventual champion.

In Johor, 13-year-old Low Yi Sheng of SMK Seri Perling won the first game 21-9 against Richie Ting Wei Jing, an opponent three years older than him. In the second game, Low led 5-0 before Richie, a Form Four student at SMK Skudai, conceded the match after suffering cramps in both legs.

Nur Azlinda Azlin bte Hassim of SMK Convent Muar emerged champion in the girls division after going through a three-set battle against Tang Ying Hui to win 14-21, 23-21, 21-18 in the final.

All the State champions and runner-ups received RM500 each for their efforts while the schools the players represented also received RM300 as a token of appreciation.

Those who make the grade during the tryouts will compete to be State champions and then move on to be crowned Axiata Cup Juniors National champion, paving the way as the future life-blood of badminton in Malaysia.
ROLL OF HONOUR (State Champions)

PERLIS - Boys: Yee Bin Xian (SMK Syed Hassan, Kangar); Girls: Nur Rizuwani (SMK Syed Hassan, Kangar).

JOHOR – Boys: Low Yi Sheng (SMK Seri Perling); Girls: Nur Azlinda Azlin bte Hassim (SMK Convent Muar).

KEDAH – Boys: Ng Yong Chai (SMK St Michael, Alor Star); Girls: Eng Sin Jou (SMK St Michael, Alor Star)

KUALA LUMPUR – Boys: Helmie Zulhaidee Zulman (SMK Segambut); Girls: Dyvylyn Sahar bte Davincy Sahar (SMK Seri Bintang Selatan).

MALACCA – Boys: Tai Chuan Zhe (SMK Katholik); Girls: Hamisya bte Hashudin (SMK Seri Kota).

PAHANG – Boys: Nabeel Azriq B Nazri (SMK Sultan Abu Bakar, Kuantan); Girls: Wong Jia Mei (SMK Air Putih, Kuantan).

KELANTAN – Boys: Mohammad Akram bin Mohd Razi (SMK Putera, Kota Baru); Girls: Tuan Nur Aina Nazirah bte Tuan Daud (SM Agama (1) Nurul Ittifak, Pasir Puteh).

TERENGGANU – Boys: Muhammad Shahfuan bin Mat Desa (SMK Bukit Nenas, Setiu); Girls: Hafizah Adila bte Hasran (SMK Dato Razali Ismail, Kuala Terengganu).

SELANGOR – Boys: Wong Kin Pan (Sri Sempurna International School, Cheras); Girls: Chen Ai Yin (SMK Katholik, Petaling Jaya)

PERAK – Boys: Tan Choong Yen (Tenby Ipoh International School); Girls: Ting Ee Chin (SMJK Yuk Choy).

PENANG – Boys: Ng Wei Shun (SMK Jalan Damai); Girls: Ooi Shi Jie (SMJK Jit Sin)

NEGERI SEMBILAN – Boys: Ngai Yong Kien (SMK Chan Wa 2, Seremban); Girls: Kelly Siow Zhi Xin (SMK King George V, Seremban)

#AxiataCup #AxiataCupJuniors