KUALA LUMPUR: K. Letshana (pic) is a star in the making.
The 14-year-old Selangor shuttler showcased her potential by winning four girls’ Under-14 titles – singles and doubles – in the first two legs of this year’s National Junior Circuit. All in, Selangor clinched nine titles each in the first leg in Selangor in March and the second leg in Malacca in May.
Yesterday, Letshana was among the juniors rewarded for their fine performances by the Selangor Badminton Association. She received RM700 under the SBA’s incentive scheme.
The SBA were able to reward the juniors, thanks to the sponsorship deal signed with Maxx Sports Sdn Bhd yesterday. The SBA will receive RM450,000 over a two-year period from the Muar-based sporting equipment manufacturer.
“I want to thank the state, sponsors and coaches for supporting the juniors in a great way.
“This will spur me to realise my dream of becoming a world champion one day,” said Letshana, a Form Two student of SMK Damansara Utama.
“I joined the SBA programme three years ago. My most memorable outing was in 2015 when I won all the junior categories in the National Junior Grand Prix Gold, National Schools (MSSM) and the junior circuit.
“I’m a full-time trainee at the New Vision Badminton Academy (in Petaling Jaya) and I train once a week at the SBA’s training centre in Kampung Atap.
“Tai Tzu-ying (Taiwan’s world No. 1 women’s singles player) is my idol. I also adore Lee Chong Wei and India’s H.S Prannoy. I want to be like them,” added Letshana.
Letshana is one of the 70 juniors being trained and supported by the SBA. Other talents under the programme include Muhd Shaqeem Eiman, R. Kasturi, R. Venosha, Chua Jin Yang, Chew Chen Hong, Ter Chun Long, Muhd Haziq Najib, Muhd Nurfirdaus and Wong Zheng Wei.
SBA president Datuk V. Subramaniam was pleased with the status of Selangor as one of the badminton powerhouses in Malaysia.
“We’re pleased with the sponsorship deal with Maxx. This is a big boost to our development programme,” said Subramaniam, who is also the treasurer of the Badminton Association of Malaysia.
“Thanks to their good showing, we’ll have the biggest contingent – 33 players – to compete in the National Junior Grand Prix Finals (in Kuala Terengganu from July 25-29),” he added.
*First leg winners (Selangor)
Boys: Chew Chen Hong-Muhd Haziq Najib (Under-12 doubles), Chua Jin Yang (Under-14 singles), Chua Jin Yang-Yap Juin An (Under-14 doubles), Muhd Shaqeem Eiman (Under-16 singles), Muhd Nurfirdaus-Wong Zheng Wei (Under-16 doubles).
Girls: K. Letshana (Under-14 singles), K. LetshanaLoh Zi Wei (Under-14 doubles), R. Kasturi (Under16 singles), R. Kasturi-R. Venosha (Under-16 doubles).
*Second leg winners (Malacca)
Boys: Chew Chen Hong (Under-12 singles), Chew Chen Hong-Muhd Haziq Najib (Under-12 doubles), Chua Jin Yang (Under-14 singles), Muhd Shaqeem Eiman (Under-16 singles), Muhd Shaqeem Eiman-Ter Chun Long (Under-16 doubles).
Girls: K. Letshana (Under-14 singles), K. Letshana-Loh Zi Wei (Under-14 doubles), R. Kasturi (Under-16 singles), R. Kasturi-R. Venosha (Under-16 doubles).