GEORGE TOWN: Youngsters Zheng Siwei and Li Yinhui of China were just too good.
They poured cold water on Malaysian Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing’s hot run at the Malaysian Masters with a 21-14, 21-19 win to capture their maiden mixed doubles title.
The two 18-year-olds, who had been training together for only a week, showed they are going to be the future stars of world badminton with the victory at the SPICE Arena in Relau on Sunday.
Siwei, a two-time world junior champion, and Yinhui never really gave the nervous Malaysians a chance in the opening game. They raced to a commanding 17-7 before taking the opener.
Siwei-Yinhui faced a late fightback from the unseeded qualifiers in the second game, but they held steady to nick it.
On Tuesday, the Chinese made heads turn by upsetting top seeds Ahmad Tantowi-Lilyana Natsir of Indonesia in the first round.
“I only practised with Yinhui for a week before coming here, but we have done well to win the title. It’s a great start for us,” said Siwei, who bagged the mixed doubles title with Chen Qingchen and captured the boys’ doubles crown with He Jiting at last year’s World Junior Championships in Peru.
Despite the defeat, the world No. 139 Malaysian pair can walk tall after reaching their first final in only their fifth tournament; but the disappointment was clear.
“We could have done better,” said Pei Jing.