World Junior: Malaysia continue fine run in Spokane

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia extended their excellent run at the 2023 World Junior Mixed Team Championships in Spokane, United States by securing a third win, this time over Latvia 5-0 yesterday (September 26).

In the tournament held at The Podium, mixed doubles pair Low Han Chen-Chan Wen Tse got the ball rolling for the national team as they took only 18 minutes to outplay Davis Strazdins-Nikola Mukiele 21-9, 21-3.

National boys' singles shuttler Muhammad Faiq Haziq had no problem securing a second point for Malaysia following a straight-sets victory over Rihards Zugs 21-5, 21-8, while girls' singles player Ong Xin Yee lived up to expectations by taking the third point as she downed Anna Kupca 21-14, 21-5.

Boys' doubles pair Bryan Jeremy Goonting-Aaron Tai delivered the fourth point as they defeated Toms Sala-Davis Strazdins 21-5, 21-12 before national girls' doubles duo of Chong Jie Yu-Carmen Ting wrapped the tie up with a convincing 21-7, 21-7 win over Eiprila Briede-Darta Alise Demitere in the final match.

On Monday, Malaysia kicked off their Group C campaign in style as they overpowered Poland 4-1 in the opening match and demolished Austria 5-0 in the second tie.

Malaysia need to win against England in the last group match to be held later today to book a place in the tournament's quarter-final.

Only the team that finishes top of the group can qualify for the last eight.

Malaysia is currently top of the group with 3 points, followed by England (2 points) and Poland (1 point), while Austria and Latvia have yet to score a single point in the tournament.

In October last year, Malaysia failed to reach the quarter-finals of the World Junior Championships in Santander, Spain and finished the mixed team event in ninth place after defeating Denmark 4-1.

To make matters worse, it was also the first time no national player qualified for the quarter-finals of the singles competition in Spain.

This was the second time in a row that Malaysia returned empty-handed after the 2019 edition in Kazan, Russia.

The last time Malaysia won a medal in the tournament was in the 2018 edition in Canada when Goh Jin Wei emerged as the girls' singles champion while Pearly Tan-Toh Ee Wei took home silver in the girls' doubles event. – Bernama

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