Wednesday October 24, 2012
Mei Kuan and Meng Yean out for a jubilant end to junior days
PETALING JAYA: The World Junior Championships, which begin tomorrow in Chiba, Japan, will be top girls’ pair Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean’s last junior tournament together and they are aiming to go out on a high after last year’s disappointment.
Last year, 18-year-olds Mei Kuan-Meng Yean broke on to the scene after a string of impressive performances and made the final of the Asian Juniors.
They also contributed significantly in the World Juniors by helping the team win the elusive mixed team title.
But Mei Kuan-Meng Yean were a disappointment in the individual event, bowing out in the last 16 despite being seeded second.
Now, more matured and having shown great progress, the world No. 59 Mei Kuan-Meng Yean are looking forward to a jubilant end to their junior days.
But Mei Kuan-Meng Yean are definitely wary of reigning champions Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan of South Korea.
“Last year we only made the last 16 and that was a little disappointing,” said Meng Yean.
“But we’ve learned a lot since competing at the senior level – the speed and power is a lot different and we want to do better this time around.”
Added Mei Kuan: “But it will not be easy because the South Koreans are still fielding their world junior champion pair and they are incredibly tough to beat.
“We’ve lost to that pair twice already.
“It’s easy to see why as they are a lot stronger physically and have really powerful smashes.
“We believe that if we can beat them, we stand a good chance of going far.”
The pair, who are also one of the more experienced players in the national junior squad, should also shoulder much of the challenge for Malaysia’s mixed team title defence.
Besides Mei Kuan-Meng Yean, the other girls’ pairs are Joyce Choong-Yap Cheng Wen and Cheah Yee See-Chin Kah Mun while Erica Khoo is also in the team for the mixed doubles.