Up-and-coming shuttlers show promise ahead of world juniors

KUALA LUMPUR: The national junior shuttlers are finally showing some promise as they gear up for the World Junior Championships in the United States later this month.

On Saturday, the players bound for the world juniors reached three finals at the Malaysia Junior International Challenge in Perlis.

Malaysia are already guaranteed the boys' singles and doubles titles.

In the boys' singles, top seed Eogene Ewe downed Thailand's Patcharakit Apiratchataset 23-21, 21-14 in the semi-final to set up an all-Malaysian final with Jan Jireh Lee.

Fifth seed Jireh defeated Indonesia's Moh Zaki Ubaidillah 21-7, 21-11 to reach the final.

Aaron Tai-Kang Khai Xing defeated compatriots Toh E Hern-Wee Yee Tern 21-19, 21-17 and will face Faiq Haziq-Lok Hong Quan in the doubles final.

Faiq-Hong Quan, in the other semi-final, defeated Indonesia's Anselmus Breagit Fredy Prasetya-Pulung 23-21, 21-18.

In the mixed doubles last four, top seeds Low Han Chen-Chong Jie Yu lived up to their billing by seeing off fourth seeds Nge Joo Jin-Xiao En Heng of Singapore 21-13, 21-15.

Han Chen-Jie Yu will play Indonesia's Anselmus-Bernadine Anindya Wardana in the final.

The Indonesians prevented an all-Malaysian final by defeating third seeds Aaron-Chan Wen Tse 15-21, 21-19, 21-18.

"Yes, it does give the players a sense of belief as they prepare for the world juniors.

"It gives us a chance to review the last four weeks of training with the seniors.

"Our coaches and support team have been focusing on the players' preparation for the world juniors. It is good to see that it is going in the right direction," said Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) deputy development director Joanne Quay.

The World Junior Championships this year is scheduled from Sept 25-Oct 8.

At the previous edition in Spain, Malaysia returned home empty-handed without a single representative in the quarter-finals.

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