Shuttlers Aaron-Bryan win despite short stint as Malaysia end with three medals in worlds


Promising players: Shuttlers Bryan Goonting (left) and Aaron Tai went down fighting 18-21, 21-15, 14-21 to Taiwan’s Lai Po-yu-Tsai Fu-cheng in the last four in Spokane, Washington.

PETALING JAYA: Shuttlers Bryan Goonting-Aaron Tai were only paired up two months ago but they have proven to be the stars in the making by winning a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships.

Bryan-Aaron went down fighting 18-21, 21-15, 14-21 to Taiwan’s Asian Junior bronze medallists Lai Po-yu-Tsai Fu-cheng in the last four in Spokane, Washington, on Saturday to emerge as one of the two medal-winning pairs for the country in the tournament.

The duo are the first boys’ doubles pair from Malaysia to win a medal in the World Juniors since Teo Ee Yi-Nelson Heg captured gold in 2011 in Taiwan.

“I’m satisfied and happy to win this bronze, especially as this will be Bryan’s last world juniors,” said the 17-year-old Aaron.

“Last year, I was in the world junior squad but did not get the opportunity to play.

“So I’m thankful to my coaches and my senior, Bryan, for this experience.”

Aaron will now go back to playing with his original partner Kang Khai Xing in junior competitions while Bryan, who is 18, will turn his focus on senior tournaments with Choi Jian Sheng.

Mixed doubles pair Low Han Chen-Chong Jie Yu also brought cheers as they came away with the bronze after going down 14-21, 14-21 to top seeds Zhu Yijun-Huang Kexing of China in the semi-finals.

Han Chen-Jie Yu have equalled the achievement of their seniors Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei, who won bronze in 2016 in Bilbao.

Bryan-Aaron and Han Chen-Jie Yu were also part of the team that won bronze in the mixed team event.

With the three bronzes, the juniors have gone some way to redeeming themselves after returning empty-handed from the Asian Junior meet in Yogyakarta in July.

It was also the first medals for Malaysia in both the World and Asian Junior meets since 2018.

While Malaysia’s challenge have ended, the United States stole the show in the world juniors when Francesca Crobett-Allison Lee reached their first ever final after beating Mei Sudo-Nao Yamakita of Japan 18-21, 21-16, 21-13.

They face another Japanese pair Maya Taguchi-Aya Tamaki in the title match.

SEMI-FINAL RESULTS

(Malaysians unless stated)

Boys’ singles: Hu Zhean (Chn) bt Alex Lanier (Fra) 22-20, 22-20; Alwi Farhan (Ina) bt Ayush Shetty (Ind) 21-18, 21-15.

Boys’ doubles: Lai Po-yu-Tsai Fu-cheng (Tpe) bt Bryan Goonting-Aaron Tai 21-18, 15-21, 21-14; Ma Shang-Zhu Yijun (Chn) bt Huang Jui-hsuan-Huang Tsung-I (Tpe) 21-15, 24-22.

Girls’ singles: Pitchamon Opatniputh (Tha) bt Xu Wenjing (Chn) 21-19, 21-11; Chiara Marvella (Ina) bt Huang Linran (Chn) 21-17, 21-19.

Girls’ doubles: Francesca Crobett-Allison Lee (US) bt Mei Sudo-Nao Yamakita (Jpn) 18-21, 21-16, 21-13; Maya Taguchi-Aya Tamaki (Jpn) bt Ririna Hiramoto-Riko Kiyose (Jpn) 13-21, 21-7, 21-19.

Mixed doubles: Zhu Yijun-Huang Kexing (Chn) bt Low Han Chen-Chong Jie Yu 21-14, 21-14; Liao Pinyi-Zhang Jiahan (Chn) bt Jonathan Farrell-Priskila Venus (Ina) 21-16, 21-16.

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