MALAYSIA suffered an embarrassing 3-2 defeat to Hong Kong in their opening mixed team Group A match at the Asian Youth Championships in South Korea yesterday.
The inexperienced team must now beat India today to finish second in the group and qualify for the quarter-finals.
Tan Gieen Wee-Chow Mei Kuan, who were expected to give Malaysia a winning start in the mixed doubles, lost 21-16, 22-20 to Lee Chun Hei-Yuen Sin Ying but Soong Joo Ven levelled proceedings when he edged Ng Ka Long 18-21, 21-16, 21-16 in the boys' singles.
Malaysia's Lim Yin Fun and Darren Issac Devadas-Tan An Khang lost their respective girls' singles and boys' doubles matches, giving Hong Kong an unassailable 3-1 lead.
Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean reduced the deficit by overcoming Yuen Sin Ying-Cheung Ying Mei 21-18, 21-11 in the girls' doubles.
Meanwhile, Zulfadli Zukliffli's hopes of winning his first senior singles title came to an end in the semi-finals of the Russia Open yesterday.
The former world junior champion lost 16-21, 22-20, 22-20 to Japan's Kazumasa Sakai.