PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian badminton team led by Eogene Ewe and Co have settled down in the United States to mount a strong challenge in the World Junior Championships.
“We arrived in Spokane on Saturday and had our first training session at the main hall,” said team manager Joanne Quay.
They will kick off their campaign in the mixed team event where their initial target is reach the last eight by topping Group C consisting England, Poland, Latvia and Austria.
On paper, Malaysia look good to claim a spot in the last eight but the competition level at the junior scene has undergone drastic change where smaller nations have proven to be capable of upstaging established countries.
England are not a force in junior events but they could provide a scare in the event.
Malaysia play two matches today where they will meet Poland first followed by a clash against Austria.
The pressure is evident as Malaysia’s previous failure to come good in junior tournaments.
In the mixed team event in Santander last year, Malaysia were unlucky to be in the same group as eventual semi-finalists Indonesia and failed to reach the quarter-finals.
They also returned empty-handed from Asian Junior Championships in Yogyakarta.
In the individual events, Malaysia will be counting on Eogene in the boys’ singles while Bryan Goonting-Low Han Chen and Aaron Tai-Khang Kai Xing are targeted to reach at least the semi-finals.