KUALA LUMPUR (23 October 2018): Teenage sensation, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin is currently one of the hottest prospects in the local badminton scene. And it all began in the Purple League Junior (PLJ) where fans got a first glimpse of the rising superstar who is set to rule the roost for Malaysia in the years to come.
Fresh from winning a silver medal in the boys’ singles of the Malaysia Games (Sukma), the 18-year-old is set to unleash his prodigious talents on a bigger stage – the World Junior Championships in Markham, Canada early November.
But before that, he has some unfinished business especially in the ongoing PLJ 2018 where he can be seen in the familiar colours of defending Division One champions, Cheras Badminton Club. The shuttler has been with the club since the inception of the PLJ in 2015 and his four-year stint with them is beginning to blossom.
Last weekend saw Aidil smashed his way to a 3-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5) win over Lee Qi Hong from Puchong United Badminton Club under 21 mins followed by a 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-6) victory over Kreeting in the tie against Petaling Badminton Club to contribute six points to Cheras BC’s challenge on the first weekend.
It wasn’t enough however to save the defending champions who are now in the seventh place after experiencing a double set back, losing 8-9 to Puchong United Badminton Club and 7-12 against Petaling Jaya Badminton Club.
His gutsy performance in the opening round coupled with his breakthrough season last year sealed the deal for the former national youth champion who has agreed to join the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on 3rd December.
Commenting on the latest offer, Aidil expressed his delight at finally fulfilling his long-held ambition of joining the national body after a long wait.
He said, “I was offered by BAM to join them and I will report for duty this December. For the time being, I am still training with Cheras BC under Sports Affairs.”
“Of course I am happy that this opportunity has finally materialized after a long wait. But on the other hand, I also feel nervous about joining BAM.
“I will be going to the World Junior Championships under their banner. It is the second time I am competing in the world juniors and I hope to do my best there to repay the faith of BAM,” added Aidil.
Aidil also expressed his gratitude towards his two coaches at Cheras BC, Rashid Sidek and Nova Armada who laid the foundation for him during his formative years.
Coach, Nova has seen at close quarters what Aidil can do and predicts great things for the tyro.
“I discovered his talent at the age of 14. At that time, he was based in Ampang but I brought him to Sports Affairs (base of Cheras BC).
“What impressed me the most about him, not only he is a talented player but his willingness to work hard. He always follows the coach’s advice.
“He has also ‘light-footed’, has good footwork on the court. He has beaten many of the top players among them, (Asian junior champion) Leong Jun Hao during Sukma.
“If and when the time comes around for him to leave Cheras BC, I give him my full blessings for him to join BAM (Badminton Association Malaysia),” added Nova.
For Aidil, joining coach Nova at Cheras BC was an easy decision to make due to their shared heritage. The 18-year-old was born to Indonesian parents who have made Gombak, Selangor their home.
During the ongoing one week break, Aidil flew out to Singapore for the Singapore International Series where he emerged victorious in the qualifying round against Thai, Chacharit Yaowanit, 21-15,21-15. He only went as far as the first round where he found the stumbling block Kittipong Imnark also from Thailand, too hot to handle, losing 21-10, 18-21, 16-21.
After the Singapore International Series, Aidil will focus all his efforts on his second attempt at the world juniors having reached the third round last year in Jakarta.
“I will be going for my second attempt at the world juniors. Under the national set-up, I will be training under coach, Kwan Yoke Meng.
“I hope to do my best there (in Canada) and improve on my performance. The PLJ has given me the best platform for me to improve my game, having gained experience playing against many foreign players from China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Singapore last season,” said Aidil.