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Tuesday April 27, 2010

Yao Han wins second world junior doubles title with new partner Hong Kheng

PETALING JAYA: National doubles coach Tan Kim Her is ready to take newly-crowned world junior boys’ doubles champions Ow Yao Han-Yew Hong Kheng under his wings and take them to greater heights.

On Sunday, Yao Han-Hong Kheng lived up to their billing as the second seeds to beat younger compatriots Nelson Heg Wei Keat-Teo Ee Yi 21-18, 21-15 in the final in Guadalajara, Mexico.

It was Yao Han’s second world junior boys’ doubles title and Malaysia’s sixth in the series.

In fact, all the Malaysian winners on previous occasions were also in doubles events.

They were the boys’ pairs of Yao Han-Chooi Kah Ming (last year), Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang (2008), Tan Boon Heong-Hoon Thien How (2004), Chan Chong Ming-Teo Kok Seng (1998) and Chong Ming-Jeremy Gan (1996); and the mixed pairs of Lim Khim Wah-Ng Hui Lin (2007) and Chong Ming-Joanne Quay (1996).

Proud moment: Yew Hong Kheng (left) and Ow Yao Han (right) posing with their medals and trophy after winning the doubles title in the World Junior Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico on Sunday.

Prior to the World Juniors, arrangements had been made for Yao Han to be placed under the charge of Kim Her, who is currently coaching his former partner, Kah Ming.

Yao Han and Hong Kheng are no longer eligible to play in junior tournaments while Nelson-Teo Yi have another year to give it a shot to go one step better under the guidance of Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) doubles coach Yap Kim Hock.

Kim Her said that a proper system should be established so that world junior champions would not sink into oblivion.

“I will have three world junior champions (Yao Han, Hong Kheng and Kah Ming) under my care if an earlier arrangement by national chief coach (Rexy Mainaky) gets the approval,” he said.

“I will come out with a comprehensive programme and plan for them. They need to be exposed in senior tournaments to adapt to the different challenges in a more competitive field.

“Not all world junior champions make it big in the senior ranks. This is something that we have to look into. They have the talent and we have to do the right thing to get them to shine in senior tournaments.

“Attention has to be given during the transition period. They may be early-round casualties in their first year as a senior pair but it should not worry us.

“With continued guidance, we can groom them into world-class players in the senior ranks too.”

Yao Han-Hong Kheng will return home tomorrow.

While Malaysia’s continued their domination in the boys’ doubles, the absence of China was felt strongly in the boys’ and girls’ singles event.

Viktor Axelsen created history when he became the first Danish player to win at the World Juniors, beating South Korean Kang ji-wook 21-19, 21-10 in the final.

In the girl’s singles, Thailand’s 15-year-old Ratchanok Intanon continued her domination, winning the title for a second time – beating Japanese Misaki Matsumoto.