PETALING JAYA: Top pair Mohd Haikal Nazri-Wan Arif Wan Junaidi showed that they are Malaysia’s best bets for medals at the World Junior Championships in Auckland from Jan 11-24 next year.
Haikal-Arif put up a good fight to beat Beh Chun Meng-Goh Boon Ze 17-21,21-18,21-18 to emerge as the boys’ doubles champions in the 100Plus National Junior Ranking Challenge at the Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
The No. 1 seeds had won all their matches in the round-robin competition to justify their status as the top juniors in the country and will now look forward to competing against the seniors from Nov 3-6.
Malaysia have produced seven boys’ doubles champions since the world junior’s inception in 1992 but since 2011, no pair have gone beyond the quarter-finals.
There is high hopes that Haikal and Arif will end the nine-year drought. Malaysia last won the boys’ doubles title through Nelson Heg-Teo Ee Yi in 2011.
In the singles event, Justin Hoh also continued his fine form when he pulled off a 21-19,21-18 win over Ong Zhen Yi in Group A for his sixth win in seven games.
He is currently the joint leader with Jacky Kok in the 10-player field with six points.
“Overall I’m satisfied with the match today.
“The coach pointed out that I made a lot of mistakes on the first day (of competition) and told me to be more patient, ” said Justin.
“Now I’m more comfortable and ready to play against the older players.”
The top three players in Group A will get to compete against selected seniors next month.
Meanwhile, Mohd Fazriq Razif finally found his groove when he beat Ong Zhen Yi 21-17,16-21,21-13 in the morning and Anson Cheong 21-19,21-15 later in the afternoon. It was his first-two wins after losing five successive matches.
Group A: Justin Hoh bt Ong Ken Yon 21-13,21-19; Mohd Fazriq Razif bt Ong Zhen Yi 21-17,16-21,21-13; Jacky Kok bt Anson Cheong 21-14,21-4; Chia Jeng Hon bt V. Poopathi 21-16,21-12; Chua Kim Sheng bt Jimmy Wong 21-16,22-20; Justin bt Zhen Yi 21-19,21-18; Fazriq bt Anson 21-19,21-15; Jacky bt Jeng Hon 21-13,21-16; Kim Sheng bt Poopathi 21-19,21-8; Ken Yon bt Jimmy 11-21,21-13,21-10.
Girls’ singles: Chan Wen Tse bt Lim Yi Wei 21-14,21-17; Tan Shen Thing bt Chong Jie Yu 21-10,21-17; Siti Nurshuhaini Azman bt Loh Zhi Wei 21-17,21-14; Yi Wei bt Shen Thing 21-18,21-12; Nurshuhaini bt Jie Yu 21-10,21-11; Zhi Wei bt Xin Yee 23-21,21-14.
Boys’ doubles: Mohd Haikal Nazri- Wan Arif Wan Junaidi bt Beh Chun Meng-Goh Boon Zhe 17-21,21-18,21-18.
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