PETALING JAYA: The just concluded KLRC-BWF World Junior Badminton Championships showed yet again that Malaysia have a better future in the doubles than in the singles events.
And Lim Khim Wah-Ng Hui Lin made the country proud when they emerged as the mixed doubles champions after a hard-fought victory over England's Chris Adcock-Gabrielle White in the final on Sunday.
Going into the championships, attention was on Asian junior mixed doubles champions Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei, who are being groomed for Beijing Olympic qualification. But they crashed out in the quarter-finals.
With Khim Wah and Hui Lin's success, Malaysia have another mixed doubles pair to count on.
Khim Wah and Hui Lin also reached the semi-finals of the boys' and girls' doubles events with Mak Hee Chun and Goh Liu Ying respectively. And it was also good to see newcomers Ong Jien Guo-Goh Wei Shem reaching the boys' doubles semi-finals.
Hui Lin, who will celebrate her 18th birthday today, certainly showed great determination. She was out for six months last year with a knee injury but she had made a successful comeback.
She is among those stepping onto the senior stage and Malaysia can rest assured that the players have the potential to make it big.
However, Malaysia's best bets in the singles events – Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Lydia Cheah – failed to match the achievements of the doubles players.
Asian junior runner-up Arif was affected by a groin injury but managed to reach the semi-finals – his best efforts in the series. The injury suffered in the mixed team event also cost Malaysia a medal chance.
The crafty Arif needs to be exposed to more international tournaments when he graduates to the national back-up squad under the charge of Rashid Sidek next year.
For Lydia, Chinese players will again prove major hurdles to overcome if she could not control her temperament on the big stage. Lydia, who lost tamely to eventual champion Wang Lin of China in the fourth round, is tall and skilful but she must learn to be mentally strong to challenge her opponents.
The team were met by BA of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, other officials and Bukit Jalil Sports School students on arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from Auckland last night.