KUCHING: Sarawak Under-13 and Under-10 paddlers put up a creditable showing at the 31st Milo Hope Table Tennis Championship which ended at Dewan Perdana MAKSAK Sabah in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah last Sunday.
The 21-member team captured one gold, one silver and three bronze medals in the national meet against players from Sabah, Labuan, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Johor, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Perlis and Penang.
Rising stars Brandon Tan Tze Yuan and Cody Ting Shi Hao bagged the gold medal for Sarawak in the Boys U13 doubles.
They created tournament history by being the first “chopper” pair in the country to land the doubles title, trouncing their KL opponents 3-0 in the final.
Cody, who was Sarawak’s best bet to win gold in the Boys U13 singles, was unfortunate to lose 2-4 to a Kuala Lumpur player in the semi-finals. He had trailed his opponent 0-3 and managed to fight back to 2-3 but faltered in the sixth set to settle for the bronze.
The 13-year from Samarahan Division Table Tennis Association had only started playing and training for 16 months under the watchful eyes of Yu Min Tao.
The Boys U10 team of Raphael Wong Li Xuan, Liew Chun Xian, Chong Sheng Jie, Bong Zhang Quan and Gilbert Liew Shen Hong impressed by bagging the silver in the team event, losing 0-3 to Selangor in the final.
Two other bronze medals were contributed by Raphael Wong and Liew Chun Xian in the Boys U10 doubles (lost 1-3 to Selangor) and Angeline Tan Tian Xuan, Too Ying Xin, Candy Tan Poh Tze, Liong Jia En and Joanne Chen Yu Xi in the Girls U13 team event (lost 0-3 to KL).
Team manager John Bong was very satisfied with the team spirit and fighting qualities of his young charges.
“We aimed for one gold and one silver in this meet and we are happy to have surpassed our medal target,” he said.
“Our players have shown lots of promise especially Cody Ting and Brandon Tan who are being trained by China coach Yu Min Tao. Angeline Tan did well too.
“I believe these talented players can go far with more hard work, training and exposure. All the players have gained valuable experience too in this meet,” he added.