PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will again play hosts to the Asian Junior Badminton Championships at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara but they have an uphill task to match last year's achievement in winning two gold medals.
The top Malaysian juniors, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Lydia Cheah and the mixed doubles pair of Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei, are no longer eligible to compete in the Under-18 championships.
Malaysia took the mixed team title last year and their shuttlers featured in four of the five individual finals, winning one through Wee Kiong-Khe Wei.
For the championships scheduled for July 13-20, Malaysia have Uber Cupper Tee Jing Yi and the boys' pair of Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang as the experience hands in their side.
Jing Yi reached the quarter-finals last year and she is perhaps the best hope for Malaysia to end China's domination of the girls' singles event.
Hee Chun took bronze in the World Junior Championships last year but is playing without regular partner Lim Khim Wah, who is no longer eligible to compete.
With Malaysia having a much weaker line-up this time, the mixed team title is likely to be fought out between China and South Korea.