PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's top boys' singles player Mohd Arif Abdul Latif capped his return to action with a straight-game win to reach the third round of the KLRC World Junior Championships at the Trusts Stadium in Auckland yesterday.
The top seeded Malaysian, who had a first-round bye, defeated the Czech Republic's Petr Hosek 21-7, 21-13. Arif will play against Australian Boris Ma today and the winner is likely to come up against South Korean Kim Sang-ra for a place in the quarter-finals.
Sang-ra upset 11th seed Chinese Zhang Qi 15-21, 21-16, 21-11 in the second round.
Arif came down with a groin injury in the mixed team quarter-final tie against Thailand last Friday. He did not feature in the semi-final and playoff for third place and Malaysia finished without a medal.
“There is still some pain but it is bearable. I was restricted to some light training for the last two days,” said Arif in a telephone interview.
Lim Fang Yang, who found himself seeded third after the redraw was made on Monday, also made it to the third round with relative ease. He beat Philip Welker of Germany 21-15, 21-14 and will play against Peyo Boichinov of Bulgaria today.
Vountus Indra Mawan also cruised into the third round with a 21-11, 21-8 win over James Eunson of New Zealand while 13th seed Teo Kok Siang received a walkover from Indonesian Senatria.
While Arif had it easy, Asian junior champion and second seed Chen Long of China had to dig deep into his reserves to tame South Korean Choi Young-woo, winning 21-19, 15-21, 21-11.
Results* Matches involving Malaysians