KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Commonwealth Games silver medallist Ng Tze Yong will be up against a familiar foe in national teammate Leong Jun Hao in the 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma) badminton men’s singles final at the Axiata Arena here tomorrow.
The 22-year-old Tze Yong, of Johor, sealed his spot in the final after ousting 2018 Perak edition silver medallist Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin of Selangor 21-14, 21-15 in the last four today.
Tze Yong, who lost to eventual champion Tan Jia Wei of Penang as early as in the second round in the 2018 edition, however, is taking a cautious approach for tomorrow’s title showdown against Jun Hao.
“Today, Aidil played very well to pressure me, but I think I handled it well. The match against Jun Hao will be tough... his speed is his advantage, so I’ll have to handle that if I want to win,” said Tze Yong, who is gunning for his first Sukma gold medal.
Earlier, Jun Hao bounced back from a game down to beat Kedah’s Jacky Kok Jing Hong 16-21, 21-12, 21-12 in the other semi-final.
Jun Hao, who is featuring in his second Sukma, vowed to fight to the end to help the Federal Territories meet their gold medal target.
“I did not set any target and I’m now in the final. I am hoping to win, of course. Yes, we are (national) teammates and we both know each other’s game. So, whoever performs on match day will win,” said Jun Hao.
Meanwhile, Selangor have confirmed both the women’s singles gold and silver medals after Siti Nurshuhaini Azman and K. Letshanaa set up a showdown.
National shuttler Siti Nurshuhaini, 18, advanced to the final after staging a fightback to beat giant-killer Amanda Yap Hwa Leng of the Federal Territories 15-21, 21-11, 21-13 in the semi-finals. Amanda had stunned top seed Eoon Qi Xuan in the second round.
“I had a problem controlling the shuttle in the first game due to the draught. It affected my confidence and I had to change my tactics. I was under a little pressure being a national shuttler... I had to give it my best,” said Siti Nurshuhaini.
Letshanaa, who is playing competitively for the first time since quitting the national team earlier this year due to a back injury, stunned Penang’s fourth-seeded Tan Zhing Yi 22-20, 21-17 after a hard-fought 46-minute battle.
“Today was a tough match and tomorrow will be another tough one. I lost to her when we last met at the 2021 Czech Open in October. So, I am looking forward to the final here. I feel very proud because both of us from Selangor have made the final... but that doesn’t mean we’ll take it easy, we will both go all out,” said Letshanaa, 19.
Other semi-final results:
Lwi Sheng Hao-Yap Roy King (JOH) bt Chia Jeng Hon-Choi Jian Sheng (PAH) 21-16, 21-15
Tan Kok Xian-Tee Kai Wun (MEL) bt Muhammad Nuraidil Adha Azman-Muhammad Nurfirdaus Azman (SEL) 21-16, 21-14
Cheng Su Hui-Cheng Su Yin (KED) bt Kasturi Radhakrishnan-Venosha Radhakrishnan (SEL) 21-16, 21-17
Toh Ee Wei-Yap Ling (MEL) bt Tang Wen Xin-Wong Kha Yan (WIP) 21-9, 21-17
Tee Kai Wun-Toh Ee Wei (MEL) bt Owen Ting Shih-Wong Ling Ching (SAR) 21-13, 21-7
Muhammad Haikal Nazri-Chan Wen Tse (KEL) bt Tan Kok Xian-Yap Ling (MEL) 21-17, 21-15 — Bernama