MALAYSIA , who will parade one of their weaker teams in the Asian Junior Championships, have been seeded first ahead of powerhouse China in the mixed team event which will be held in Gimcheon, South Korea beginning tomorrow.
Malaysia beat Indonesia 3-1 to win the title in Lucknow, India last year but have an inexperienced lineup this year. China will also be parading a team of unheralded players.
This leaves only Indonesia, led by Shesar Hiren Rustavito, as the team to beat although they are not among the top four seeds. Taiwan and South Korea are the joint third seeds. Malaysia are also in a tough Group A with Hong Kong and India but they should top the group to reach the quarter-finals where they are expected to meet Thailand.
A likely semi-final against Indonesia will be Malaysia's crucial test as they will not have the services of Zulfadli Zulkifli and doubles Nelson Heg-Teo Ee Yi who are over-aged for the Under-19 event.
The team final will be held on Tuesday while the preliminary rounds of the individual events will commence on the same day with the final on July 7.
Group A: Malaysia, Hong Kong, India; Group B: Taiwan, Indonesia, Singapore, Mongolia; Group C: South Korea, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan; Group D: China, Japan, Vietnam.