PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Lim Khim Wah-Ng Hui Lin ended their junior career in badminton on a golden note when they captured the mixed doubles title in the KLRC-BWF World Junior Championships in Auckland yesterday.
Their outstanding maiden victory yesterday, did not come easy though.
The duo toiled for 54 minutes to beat Chris Adcock-Gabrielle White of England 23-25, 22-20, 21-19 in a final match that went down the wire.
Their win ended the country’s nine-year wait for a mixed doubles title in the world junior meet. The previous mixed doubles winners were Chan Chong Ming-Joanne Quay in 1998.
Khim Wah-Hui Lin are now the country’s fifth world junior champions in the series.
Besides the mixed doubles, Chong Ming also won two boys’ doubles titles with Teo Kok Siang (in 1996) and Jeremy Gan (in 1998) while Tan Boon Heong-Hoon Thien How were the champions in 2004.
The 18-year-old Khim Wah, who left for Auckland with the aim of becoming the second Malaysian to win two titles in a single world meet after Chong Ming, was happy that he got it right at least in one event.
“I knew we had a chance in the boys’ doubles and mixed doubles. It was sad that I lost in the boys’ doubles earlier (with Mak Hee Chun in the semi-finals). But today, the victory with Hui Lin has certainly made up for the disappointment,” said Khim Wah in a telephone interview from Auckland yesterday.
“I want to thank all the coaches – especially Jeremy. It is certainly a great end to my junior career,” he said.
For debutant Hui Lin, it was a perfect 18th birthday gift.
“I just could not believe it. It was such a close fight.
“We were trailing four to five points in the second game but we caught up. And when we won the title, I just ran and hugged Khim Wah and my coach (Jeremy), “ said Hui Lin, who will celebrate her birthday tomorrow.
“I had to take a six month break due to a knee injury last year.
“But today, this win makes up for everything. I still cannot believe it that we pulled off this win.”
Jeremy was happy that another pair came out tops although Malaysia's best hope for the title was Asian junior champions and top seeds Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei in the mixed doubles.
“I won a world junior title a long time ago and I really feel proud to see my players achieving it. It is a great moment,” said Jeremy.
“There were less pressure on Khim Wah and Hui Lin and they certainly have been playing better than Wee Kiong-Khe Wei for the last two months.
“We now have another mixed doubles pair that we can depend on.”
Meanwhile, China showed that they would remain as a major threat in international tournament judging from their juniors’ outstanding showing in the world meet, where they won three of the five titles at stake.