NATIONAL junior doubles coach Yap Kim Hock has reshuffled his pairs but still feels it will be difficult to continue Malaysia's dominance in the World Junior Championships in Chiba, Japan on Oct 25-Nov 3.
Kim Hock has nurtured three pairs since 2009 to secure the boys' doubles crown in the event but has admitted he is facing his biggest challenge in the absence of a special player who can give Malaysia the edge.
Ow Yao Han provided that extra in 2009 when he partnered Chooi Kah Ming to win the world junior crown and repeated the feat a year later partnering Yew Hong Kheng, while Teo Ee Yi-Nelson Heg were victorious last year.
Malaysia's top junior combination Darren Issac-Tai An Khang could only reach the quarter-finals of the Asian Junior Championships in July and but will be partnering different players in the World Juniors.
An Khang looks the best bet in Japan with Tan Wee Gieen while Issac will partner Ong Yu Sin.
They are expected to be joined by either Kelvin Ong-Chua Khek Wei or Dede Ryan Philip-Marcel Simon in the World Juniors.
Kim Hock will name the squad after the ongoing Malaysia Junior Open in Bukit Kiara.
"It will be a massive challenge defending the boys' doubles title as we don't have a special player who can make the difference," said Kim Hock.
"I had Yao Han in 2009 and 2010 while Ee Yi was the player who delivered with Nelson last year.
"I have reshuffled my combinations and hope that Wee Gieen-An Khang can try to achieve the impossible while Issac-Yu Sin will be very strong next year."
Meanwhile, An Khang-Wee Gieen reached the quarter-finals of the Maybank Malaysia Junior Open yesterday when they beat Indonesia's Ayoda Lutfi-Mukti Rahman Sutrisno 21-13, 21-11 in the third round.
They will meet Issac-Yu Sin, who beat Ryan-Simon 21-15, 17-21, 27-25, in the last eight today.
In the boys' singles, Soong Joo Ven, So Teck Zhi and Tan Kian Meng reached the last eight.
Joo Ven beat Pannawit Thongnuam of Thailand 21-18, 21-16 and next plays South Korean Jeon Hyuk Jin today.
Teck Zhi beat Ihsan Maulan Mostafa 21-16, 21-17 to set up a clash with fourth seed Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong, while Tan Kian Meng, who beat compatriot Lim Chi Wing 21-18, 21-16, will meet South Korea's Choi Sol Kyu in the quarter-finals.