Boys' singles shuttler Tan Jia Wei lost to South Korea's Lee Jun-su 21-11, 16-21, 16-21 in the fifth-sixth placing match of the World Junior Championships mixed team event.
ALOR SETAR: Head coach Zhou Kejian preferred to look at the positive side of things following Malaysia’s 3-0 defeat by South Korea in the fifth-sixth placing match of the World Junior Championships mixed team event.
Malaysia fielded the young mixed doubles pair of Sim Guo Zheng-Eng Pui Yee as well as fourth string boys’ singles Tan Jia Wei on Friday at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium, with the latter earning praise for his brave performance.
The 16-year-old Jia Wei showed glimpses of his prowess as he went down fighting to Lee Jun-su 21-11, 16-21, 16-21 in 47 minutes.
“Today, we sent out our third and fourth string players. I think Jia Wei did very well. He showed spirit and determination to fight all the way,” said Kejian.
“I think nerves got the better of him today, especially when he was tied at 16-16 in the third game. His opponent was able to speed up the tempo and attack more. But he’s got a lot of potential to develop into a stronger player.”
Young pair Guo Zheng-Pui Yee were no match for Kim Jae-hwan-Kong Hee-yong, losing 7-21, 13-21 while Chua Khek Wei-Ng Di Hua were beaten by Park Kyung-hoon-Choi Jong-woo 21-17, 14-21, 14-21.
Asked to sum up Malaysia’s performance at the mixed team event, Kejian said they ticked all the boxes of their performance sheet.
“I think overall, we did all right. Our target was to reach the quarter-finals ... and we did that. We wanted to beat Taiwan, especially after losing to them at the Asian Juniors, and we did that. So, we did achieve what we set out to do,” said Kejian.
“I’m quite satisfied, despite the loss today, but the match (against South Korea) was to gauge where we stand compared to other teams and I think our juniors showed they have the potential ... they’re just lacking in experience.”