Top 100 boost for junior pair

Timely boost: Aaron Tai and Kang Khai Xing will be motivated by their rise into the top 100 ahead of the Asian Junior Championship.

PETALING JAYA: Rising men’s doubles shuttlers Aaron Tai-Kang Khai Xing are approaching the Asian Junior Championships at the end of the month with a spring in their step after breaking into the top 100 in the latest world rankings.

Aaron, 17 and Khai Xing, 18 moved up 24 rungs from No. 107 to a career high No. 83 after reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in Sydney last week. It was the pair’s maiden appearance in a World Tour Super 500 event.

It was another feather in the cap for Aaron-Khai Xing, who were promoted to the national senior team last November.

The impressive duo did not take long to justify their promotion as they captured their first senior title in the Thailand International Challenge in March.

They also shone in junior events, winning the Dutch Junior International and finishing runners-up in the German Juniors. The pair will be Malaysia’s best bet to win a medal in the Asian Junior meet from June 28-July 7 in Yogyakarta.

The mixed team event will be held from June 28-July 2 followed by the individual event from July 3-7.

National junior head coach Jeffer Rosobin was happy with Aaron-Khai Xing’s progress and wants them to continue their good form in the Asian meet.

“Breaking into the top 100 is a boost for Aaron-Khai Xing before the Asian Juniors,” said Jeffer.

“This has increased their confidence and now they need to bring their form into the tournament.”

It will be Aaron and Khai Xing’s last appearance in the Asian Junior meet and the duo will be keen to end their junior career on a high note.

For the record, Ng Tze Yong-Chia Weijie were the last Malaysians to win a medal in the boys’ doubles when they took home bronze in the 2017 edition in Jakarta.

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