PETALING JAYA: Bring on the mighty China!
National junior coach Kwan Yoke Meng has issued a rallying cry ahead of the crunch quarter-final clash against the defending champions in the mixed team event of the World Junior Championships in Markham, Canada.
Malaysia will be hoping to be third time lucky against the 12-time winners after being pipped to the title in the last two years.
Malaysia, the 2011 champions, had been confirmed as the Group B winners after earning their third straight win by beating Poland 5-0.
Due to shortage of girl members in the squad, girls’ singles ace Goh Jin Wei was again deployed in the mixed doubles partnering Yap Roy King and the duo did well to give Malaysia a flying start with a 21-6, 21-5 win over Julia Plawecka-Mikolaj Wrzalik.
Ng Tze Yong (boys’ singles), Eoon Qi Xuan (girls’ singles), Chia Wei Jie-Chua Yue Chern (boys’ doubles) and Pearly Tan Koong Le-Toh Ee Wei (girls’ doubles) all delivered in their respective events.
Malaysia will complete their group campaign against Ukraine before returning to the court in the evening to face China, the Group A winners.
Yoke Meng was adamant that the Chinese, despite boasting world No. 1s in four of the five disciplines, are not unbeatable.
“We are all looking forward to taking on China again in the rematch of 2016 and 2017 finals,” said Yoke Meng.
“With the strongest squad, China are the favourites to defend the team title and it’s up to us to stop them.
“We’re in high spirits, we don’t fear them.”
Should Malaysia pull off a stunning upset against China, Asian Junior Championships runners-up Japan could be up next in the last four.
Group A1: China bt Australia 5-0; China bt Hong Kong 3-0.
Group A2: Holland bt New Zealand 3-2; Germany bt Holland 3-1.
Group B: Sweden bt Ukraine 4-1; Malaysia bt Poland 5-0 (Goh Jin WeiYap Roy King bt Julia PlaweckaMikolaj Wrzalik 21-6, 21-5; Ng Tze Yong bt Andrzej Niczporuk 21-8, 21-9; Eoon Qi Xuan bt Joanna Podedworny 21-8, 21-7; Chia Wei Jie-Chua Yue Chern bt Andrzej NiczyporukMikolaj Szmanowski 21-6, 21-4; Pearly Tan Koong Le-Toh Ee Wei bt Agnieszka Foryta-Julia Plawecka 21-7, 21-10); Ukraine bt Poland 4-1; Sweden bt Canada 3-2. Group C: Japan bt Peru 5-0; Thailand bt South Africa 5-0; Peru bt Mongolia 5-0; Japan bt South Africa 5-0.
Group D: France bt Brazil 4-1; Taiwan bt Uganda 5-0; Brazil bt Norway 4-1; France bt Uganda 5-0.
Group E : Sri Lanka w/o Algeria; India bt Faroe Islands 5-0; Faroe Islands w/o Algeria; Sri Lanka bt Kenya 5-0.
Group F: Scotland bt Spain 4-1; South Korea bt Czech Republic 5-0; Scotland bt Czech Republic 5-0; Spain bt Slovakia 3-2.
Group G: Singapore bt Guyana 5-0; Denmark bt United States 4-1; Domican Republic w/o Guyana; Singapore bt United States 5-0.
Group H : England bt Austria 3-2; Indonesia bt Mexico 5-0; Austria bt Macau 5-0; England bt Mexico 5-0.