PETALING JAYA: Reigning German Junior mixed doubles champions Chang Yee Jun-Pearly Tan Koong Le (pic) are the frontrunners to represent Malaysia at the Asia Junior Championships in Jakarta from July 22-30.
They showed plenty of promise by being the only pair to win a title in the two back-to-back international junior tournaments in Holland and Germany over the last two weeks.
Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) chief coach Kwan Yoke Meng felt that the Malaysian juniors fared well overall, although they struggled fitness-wise.
“The competitions in Holland and Germany were great for our juniors. Usually, the bulk of the competitors are Europeans but, this time, we had entries from many Asian countries,” said Yoke Meng.
“Yee Jun and Pearly showed plenty of promise by winning their first international junior title ... we hope they’ll keep it up.”
Yee Jun also played in the boys’ doubles with Ng Eng Cheong while Koong Le forged quite a formidable partnership with Toh Ee Wei in the girls’ doubles.
“We have good doubles players ... we need to step it up in the singles department,” said Yoke Meng.
Leong Jun Hao was the top performer at the junior meet when he reached the boys’ singles semi-finals in the Dutch Junior meet two weeks ago. Jun Hao, however, lacks match temperament.
“Our juniors are skilful ... their problems are fitness and mental preparation. That’s why we always see them getting off to a good start but then finishing poorly.
“We will have to work on this,” said Yoke Meng.
Beside the Asian Junior meet in Jakarta, another important tournament for the juniors this year is the World Junior Championships in Jogjakarta, Indonesia from Oct 9-22.
“We haven’t finalised the team for both the major junior tournaments in Indonesia, yet.
“We’ll send them out for a few more tournaments before deciding on the team. They need more exposure,” said Yoke Meng.
The juniors are preparing for the Junior International Challenge in Bangkok from April 4-9 and the International Junior Grand Prix in Jakarta from April 11-6.
Last year, Malaysia failed to win any titles at the Asian and World junior tournaments in Bangkok, Thailand; and Bilbao, Spain.