OW Yao Han-Chooi Kah Ming were crowned world junior boys’ doubles champions after pulling off a miraculous final victory over Indonesians Barry Anggriawan-Muhammad Ullinuha at the Sultan Abdul Halim Indoor Stadium last night.
The Malaysians appeared dead and buried as they trailed 16-20 in the deciding game. Even the vocal local fans had given up hope on them and had started streaming out of the stadium at that point.
But the two persons that really mattered – Yao Han and Kah Ming – refused to give up Malaysia’s hopes of winning a title in the final match of the night.
They fought to save four match points and force the game into a deuce and went on to win the match 19-21, 21-12, 23-21.
“I did not realise that the Malaysian fans had started leaving the stadium as I was too preoccupied with the match,” said a tearful Yao Han.
“Our thoughts were just to stay alive in the match and reel back the Indonesians’ lead point by point. As long as the match was not over, we refused to give up.”
Although they triumphed, Yao Han-Kah Ming were also guilty of not wrapping up the match much quicker.
They held the upper hand over the jittery Indonesians in the opening game but committed too many errors to allow their opponents to win 21-19.
After forcing a rubber with an easy 21-12 win, Yao Han-Kah Ming again reverted to their error-strewn ways in the third game.
National doubles coach Yap Kim Hock said: “I am happy that things turned out well for us after living through the suspense.
“We had the better pair but the boys were guilty of being too hasty to end the match.
“They also wasted a good chance to pull away at 16-14 in the third game.
“But all credit to Yao Han-Kah Ming for not giving up when the odds were stacked against them. They showed the true qualities of champions.”
The success of Yao Han-Kah Ming yesterday was Malaysia’s fifth boys’ doubles title in the world junior series. At the last championships in Pune last year, Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang emerged as the champions.
For Indonesia, they ended the championships in Alor Setar without any titles.
They were also beaten in the mixed doubles and girls’ doubles final by Thai and Chinese pairs respectively.
Boys’ singles: Tian Houwei (Chn) bt Iskandar Zulkarnain (Mas) 21-12, 21-17
Girls’ singles: Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Porntip Buranaprasertuk (Tha) 21-15, 21-23, 21-10
Boys’ doubles: Ow Yao Han-Chooi Kah Ming (Mas) bt Barry Anggriawan-Muhammad Ulinuha (Ina) 19-21, 21-12, 23-21
Girls’ doubles: Tang Jinhua-Xia Huan (Chn) bt Suci Rizki Andini-Tiara Rosalia (Ina) 21-9, 21-18
Mixed doubles: Maneepong Jongjit-Rodjana Chuthabunditkul (Tha) bt Angga Pratama-Destiara Della (Ina) 21-19, 14-21, 21-17.