PETALING JAYA: Boys doubles’ pair Ooi Zi Heng-Soh Wooi Yik are Malaysia’s sole survivors after Goh Jin Wei bit the dust at the Asian Junior Championships in Bangkok.
The sixth-seeded duo produced a spirited display to see off South Korea’s Lee Sang-min-Na Seung-seung 17-21, 21-14, 21-19 in 52 minutes to reach the semi-finals at the CPB Badminton and Sports Science Training Centre on Friday.
The rubber game was a close fight and the two pairs found themselves level at 19-all. Thankfully for Malaysia, Zi Heng-Wooi Yik managed to steal two points to seal victory.
“We didn’t want to give up and fought until the very end because we knew we represented Malaysia’s last hope (of salvaging a title in the tournament),” said Zi Heng.
“We’re very proud to have made the semi-finals. We’re really delighted as last year we only managed to get into the quarter-finals.”
As fate would have it, Zi Heng-Wooi Yik will get a chance to avenge that loss to China’s third seeds Zhou Haodong-Han Chengkai of China when the two pairs meet today.
“We want to beat them this time,” vowed Zi Heng.
“They are strong opponents, but I believe we have what it takes to get the better of them this time. We’re just two matches away from the title ... we’ll give it our all.”
Jin Wei, boys’ singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia and mixed doubles pair Chen Tang Jie-Pearly Tan Koong Le all fell by the wayside on Friday.
World junior champion Jin Wei lost 13-21, 21-17, 13-21 to South Korea’s Kim Ga-eun.
“I lost focus when it mattered most (in the rubber game) ... I was caught off-guard when my opponent stepped up the pace and I made a mistake with my strategy,” said Jin Wei.
“Maybe I was thinking about winning (the title) too much. I will come back stronger.”
(Matches involving Malaysians only)
Boys’ singles: Lee Chia-hao (Tpe) bt Lee Zii Jia 20-22, 21-11, 21-15.
Boys’s doubles: Ooi Zi Heng-Soh Wooi Yik bt Lee Sang-min-Na Sung-seung (Kor) 17-21, 21-14, 21-19.
Girls’ singles: Kim Ga-eun (Kor) bt Goh Jin Wei 21-13, 17-21, 21-13.
Mixed doubles: Kim Won-ho-Lee Yu-rim (Kor) bt Chen Tang Jie-Pearly Tan Koong Le 21-17, 21-16.