PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s top junior pair Wan Arif Wan Junaidi-Mohd Haikal Nazri were almost made to eat humble pie on the opening day of the 100Plus National Junior Ranking Challenge.
The German Junior Open boys’ doubles champions had to recover from a game down to beat teammates Kok Jia Cheng-Ooi Yi Hern 12-21,21-15,21-17 in their opening fixture at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
Arif-Haikal are the overwhelming favourites to top the round-robin contest comprising only five pairs.
They are expected to be challenged by Beh Chun Meng-Goh Boon Zhe, the second leg winners of the National Under-18 Championships in Kedah last year.
Chun Meng-Boon Zhe were in their element as they easily ousted Bryan Jeremy-Liew Xun 21-9,21-13 in the other match.
The other top combination of Mohd Fazriq Razif-Justin Hoh are not part of the doubles competition as the duo opted to play in the singles.
Arif has played down their favourite tag, saying that their teammates were just as good despite the difference in ranking.
“We will never take any of our training mates lightly. Today’s result showed that no one is inferior to another, ” said Arif.
“Every pair have their own plus point and all we hope for is a strong competition among ourselves. Healthy rivalry will push us forward.”
Haikal chipped in: “It’s unfortunate that Fazriq and Justin are not playing in the doubles this time as their presence could have made it a lot more competitive.
“But the rest in the field are just as tough. Although it’s just an internal tournament, everyone is giving their all after training hard for the last 10 weeks.”
Group A: Ong Zhen Yi bt Anson Cheong 21-9,21-11; Ong Ken Yon bt Chia Jeng Hon 21-15,21-10; Chua Kim Sheng bt Justin Hoh 20-22,21-12,21-17; V. Poopathi bt Mohd Fazriq Razif 21-19,21-9; Jacky Kok bt Jimmy Wong 21-16,21-12; Jacky Kok bt Mohd Fazriq Razif 21-11,21-13; Ong Zhen Yi bt Chia Jeng Hon 21-16,14-21,21-17; Ong Ken Yon bt Chua Kim Sheng 19-21,21-18,21-14; Justin Hoh bt V. Poopathi 21-19,22-20; Jimmy Wong bt Anson Cheong 21-12,21-11.
Boys’ doubles: Mohd Haikal Nazri-Wan Arif Wan Junaidi bt Kok Jia Cheng-Ooi Yi Hern 12-21,21-15,21-17; Beh Chun Meng-Goh Boon Zhe bt Bryan Jeremy-Liew Xun 21-9,21-13.
Group A: Myisha Mohd Khairul bt Tan Zhing Yi 8-21,21-13,21-18; Khor Jing Wen bt Joanne Ng 21-18,21-15.
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