World no.7 junior Cheam June Wei beat Japan's Kazuki Kirita in straight sets to enter the boys' singles third round of the World Junior Championships in Alor Setar on Monday. - CHAN BOON KAI/ The Star
ALOR SETAR: Malaysian Cheam June Wei kicked off his boys’ singles campaign with a straightforward second round win in the World Junior Championships.
The 17-year-old Penangite, who received a first-round bye, beat Kazuki Kirita of Japan 21-15, 21-19 at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium on Monday. The world No. 7 will take on France’s Ronan Gueguin in Tuesday’s third round.
June Wei confessed he felt a bit rusty, having not played since his 23-21 14-21 21-23 win over China’s Lin Guipu in the mixed team event last Wednesday.
“I was a little nervous during the match as I didn’t play for the last few days,” said June Wei.
“I was leading 14-10 and I wanted to slow down the tempo of the game as I was getting a little tired. Kazuki was pushing me really hard. But it’s great to get the win and get my first match out of the way,” added June Wei, the joint fifth-eighth seed.
Top seed Jonatan Christie of Indonesia proved too strong for Algeria’s Youcef Sabri Mendel, winning 21-11, 21-8 in 16 minutes.
Second seed Shi Yuqi of China also had it easy, beating Egypt’s Abdelrahman Abdelhakim 21-6, 21-4.
Joint fifth-eighth seeds Denmark’s Gemke Rasmus and India’s Aditya Joshi weren’t so lucky as both crashed out of the championships. Rasmus lost 18-21, 18-21 to Korean Kim Hui-tae while Aditya was beaten 18-21, 9-21 by Seo Seung-jae, also of South Korea.
In the girs’ singles, Malaysian Goh Jin Wei gave her confidence a major boost by beating joint ninth-16th seed Thamolwan Poopradubsil of Thailand 21-14, 17-21, 21-14 in the second round.
“Thamolwan’s a very good player, of a higher standard than me. The pressure was on her to beat me. I’m glad I managed to get a win over her. I just need to be more patient in my next match,” said the 14-year-old Jin Wei, who will take on lanky Yvonne Li of Germany in the third round.
It was, however, the end of the road for fellow Malaysian Ho Yen Mei. The 18-year-old wasn’t clinical enough, losing 19-21, 17-21 to China’s ninth-16th seed Qin Jingjing.
In the boys’ doubles, Malaysians Chua Khek Wei-Ng Di Hua opened their campaign with a 21-14, 21-14 win over Bulgaria’s Daniel Lachezarov Nikolov-Vladimir Shiskov in the first round.
Goh Sze Fei-Tan Jinn Hwa, the other Malaysian pair, also advanced following a 21-11, 21-12 win over Joaquin Raphael Deato-Vincent Rafael Manuel of the Philippines.
It won’t be plain-sailing in the second round though as Khek Wei-Di Hua will meet joint ninth seeds Hashiru Shimono-Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan while Sze Fei-Jinn Hwa will take on Indonesians Muhammad Rian Adrinato-Clinton Hendrik.