PONTIAN (5 JANUARY): The 2023 Johor Close Badminton Championship kicked off in style as young shuttlers were eager to put their skills to the test on the opening day of the tournament.
The 11th edition of the tournament which will take place until Sunday will showcase a dazzling array of young talents as players compete for a chance to represent Johor at the national level.
President of the Johor Badminton Association, Mat Rashid Jahlil who was at the venue was satisfied with the reception on the opening day and conveyed his gratitude to all the organisers.
He said, “With the blessing of almighty god, we’re pleased to witness the high number of crowds for our event and JBA would like to take this oppurtnuity to thank all the organizers for showing their utmost commitment in uplifting the scale of this tournament.”
He added “We at JBA will ensure that the Johor Close Badminton Championship initiative will continue for the years to come. JBA also aims to expand our wings in next year’s edition by establishing a new premier household (Johor Open Badminton Championship) tournament with more international & local badminton participants.”
In the Under-14 category underdog Yew Jun Cheng from Johor Bahru based AIM Badminton Academy pulled out all the stops to defeat heavyweight Choo Zeng Feng from Albert Sports (21-7, 21-6) in the Boys Singles category.
In a tight opening game, Yew Jun Cheng made short work of his opponent and outclassed him 21-7 in a match that kept everyone at the venue on their toes.
Choo Zeng Feng was equally impressive in the second game and nearly staged a dramatic comeback by leading Yew Jun Cheng 6-0 in the second set.
However, the energetic Jun Cheng kept his cool and powered himself into the next stage of the tournament by sealing an easy 21-6 victory over Zeng Feng.
Jun Cheng’s coach Soong Fie Cho who’s also a former Malaysian women’s double player was delighted with her player’s performance and commended him for giving his best today. She said, “Jun Cheng has been training hard for the past couple of weeks and I am proud with his performance today.”
The elite coach who rose to fame by winning the 2015 Singapore SEA Games gold medal said added “I believe that he will continue to give his very best and maintain his momentum in the next stage of the tournament”.
The ongoing 11th edition of the 2023 Johor Close Badminton Championship will be a battleground for more than 600 badminton players across the nation partaking in five categories, namely in the Under 21, Under 16, Under 14, Under 12 and Under 10 categories.
The competition is being held from the 5 to 8 January at DBC Sport Arena, Pontian, Johor.