PETALING JAYA: Malaysia started their campaign in the World Junior Badminton Championships mixed team competition with convincing victories in two Group B1 ties in Incheon, South Korea, yesterday.
Malaysia defeated both the Philippines and Ukraine by a 5-0 margin.
In the match against Ukraine, Teo Kok Siang had to slog it out against Dmitry Zavadsky before prevailing 21-18, 19-21, 21-14 in 40 minutes.
However, it was smooth sailing after that. Lydia went on to earn the second point with a 21-16, 21-17 win over Mariya Martynenko before Amelia Anscelly-Ooi Swee Wenn sealed victory with a 22-20, 21-19 over Olga Chkheidze-Olena Mashchenko.
Malaysia will play against Taiwan today to decide the Group B1 winners while Japan and Denmark will fight it out for the top spot in the other sub group. The winners of the two ties will meet to decide the semi-finalists.
Team manager How Kim Tho is optimistic that Malaysia will be able to beat Taiwan.
But getting a place in the semi-finals in a tie against Japan or Denmark will be tough. If we fail, we can hope to finish fifth at the best, he said.
Malaysia's best effort in the mixed team event of the World Juniors was fifth place, at the last championships in Vancouver in 2004.
* Ties involving Malaysia
n GROUP B1
Malaysia bt Philippines 5-0: Mohd Arif Abdul Latif bt Benjamin Gadi 21-17, 21-7; Lydia Cheah bt Karyn Cecilia Velez 21-8, 21-16; Lim Khim Wah-Mak Hee Chun bt Benjamin Gadi-Jobett Hereli 21-10, 21-11; Woon Khe Wei-Goh Liu Ying bt Karyn Cecilia Velez-Michaela Victoria Laurel 21-7, 21-5; Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei bt Jobett Hereli-Michaela Victoria Laurel 21-10, 21-12.
Malaysia bt Ukraine 5-0: Teo Kok Siang bt Dmitry Zavadsky 21-18, 19-21, 21-14; Lydia Cheah bt Mariya Martynenko 21-16, 21-17; Mohd Arif Abdul Latif-Indra Mawan Vountus bt Dmitry Zavadsky-Georgiv Natarov 21-17, 21-8; Amelia Anscelly-Ooi Swee Wenn-Olga Chkheidze-Olena Mashchenko 22-20, 21-19; Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei bt Artur Burlaka-Olga Chkheidze 21-13, 21-13.