Sunday October 28, 2012
Malaysia fail to hold on to their crown after crashing out to Indonesia
PETALING JAYA: Defending champions Malaysia made an early exit in the mixed team badminton event of the World Junior Championships after losing 3-1 to Indonesia in the second round in Chiba, Japan, yesterday.
Last year, Malaysia had the likes of boys’ singles ace Zulfadli Zulkifli and boys’ doubles pair of Nelson Heg-Teo Ee Yi to bail them out of trouble. This time, minus the trio, the second-seeded Malaysian juniors clearly lacked bite and were no match against the joint fifth-eighth seeds Indonesia.
The writing was already on the wall when the mixed pair of Tan Wee Gieen-Chow Mei Kuan went down to Alfian Eko Pratseya-Shela Devi Aulia to hand the Indonesians a 1-0 lead.
Asian Juniors runner-up Soong Joo Ven restored parity when he outclassed Arif Ramadhan 21-17, 21-19.
The boys’ pair of Darren Isaac Devadass-Ong Yew Sin had their work cut out for them when they came up against Asian Junior champions Edi Subaktiar-Arya Maulana Adiartama.
Although Darren-Yew Sin gave a good account of themselves, they still fell short, going down 18-21, 21-18, 18-21.
It was then up to Lim Yin Fun to save the team’s championship hopes in the girls’ singles but she too could not do much, losing to Hanna Ramadini in three games.
The Indonesians, however, went on to lose by a similar score to powerhouse and second seeds China in the semi-finals. The national juniors, however, rebounded well to beat Hong Kong 3-1 in the fifth-eighth placing.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) junior development coordinator How Kim Tho feels that they can take some positives from the loss to Indonesia.
“We knew Indonesia had a stronger team and that we had to win the mixed doubles to stand a chance of beating them. Unfortunately, it did not happen,” said Kim Tho.
“But there were several positives from the players’ performances, especially girls’ singles Ho Yen Mei’s performance against Hong Kong.
“She is only 16 but gave a really matured performance.
“Besides, Darren-Yew Sin also played fairly well despite coming up against the top junior pair in Asia.”
Malaysia will face Taiwan in a bid to finish fifth.