SHUTTLER Soong Joo Ven is just one match away from repeating Zulfadli Zulkifli's feat of last year when the former continued his brilliant form to advance to the boys' singles final of the Asian Junior Championships in Gimcheon, South Korea yesterday.
Joo Ven, the sixth seed, overcame another surprise semi finalist, Panji Akbar Sudrajat of Indonesia 13-21, 21-18, 21-11 in 57 minutes to secure his final berth.
His achievement maintained Malaysia's consistency in the boys' singles over the last four years where Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin (2009), Low Wei Sheng (2010) reached the final while Zulfadli won the nation's first title in the event last year in Lucknow, India.
There was further good news as title favourite Sameer Verma of India was knocked out in the last four by Japan's Kento Momota who registered a 13-21, 21-18, 21-9 win in 55 minutes.
Kento himself has a score to settle against Malaysia as he was shown the exit in the semi-final stage by Zulfadli last year, and this makes the final against Joo Ven all the more interesting.
Malaysia's charge in the girls' doubles was halted when Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean suffered a 21-14, 21-14 defeat to South Korea's top seeds Shin Seung Chan-Lee So Hee.
Seung Chan-So Hee will meet Yu Xiaohan-Huang Yaqiong of China, who beat compatriots He Jiaxin-Chen Qingchen 23-21, 21-10, in the final today.
RESULTS -- (All S-Finals) Boys' Singles: Kento Momota (Jpn) bt Sameer Verma (Ind) 13-21, 21-18, 21-9; Soong Joo Ven (Mas) bt Panji Akbar Sudrajat (Ina) 13-21, 21-18, 21-11.
Doubles: Arya Maulana Ardiyartama-Edi Subaktiar (Ina) bt Lee Chun Hei-Ng Ka Long (HK) 15-21, 26-24, 21-15; Wang Chi Lin-Wu Hsiao Lin (Tai) bt Alfian Eko Prasetyo-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamulyo (Ina) 22-20, 21-13.
Girls' Singles: P.V. Sindhu (Ind) bt Busanan Ongbamrungphan (Tha) 21-19, 21-16; Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) bt Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) 21-19, 21-9.
Doubles: Shin Seung Chan-Lee So Hee (Kor) bt Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (Mas) 21-14, 21-14; Yu Xiaohan-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) bt He Jiaxin-Chen Qingchen (Chn) 23-21, 21-10.
Mixed Doubles: Wang Yilu-Huang Dongping (Chn) bt Do Tuan Duc-Le Thu Huyen (Vie) 21-9, 21-18; Choi Sol Kyu-Jung Chae Yoo (Kor) bt Liu Yuchen-Chen Qingchen (Chn) 21-17, 21-19.