MALAYSIA kicked off their Group Z campaign in the World Junior Badminton Championships mixed team event with contrasting, but comfortable, victories at the Sultan Abdul Halim Indoor Stadium in Alor Setar yesterday.
The national players were not required to lift their racquets for their opening match against Cambodia in the morning.
The Cambodians failed to turn up and Malaysia were awarded a 5-0 walkover win.
The tournament organisers stated that the Cambodian squad faced problems leaving Phnom Penh, but will arrive in Alor Setar in time for the start of the individual events next Wednesday.
Later in the evening, the well-rested hosts took to the court and beat Singapore 4-1 for their second win in the five-team group.
The Singaporeans looked lethargic after a tough 0-5 defeat to Japan earlier in the morning.
Chooi Kah Ming-Ng Hui Ern opened accounts for Malaysia with a 21-10, 21-13 victory in the mixed doubles.
Top national junior men’s singles player Iskandar Zulkarnain took just 19 minutes to overcome Koh Jia Yi 21-11, 21-10.
Tee Jing Yi struggled to overcome Chen Jiayuan in a roller coaster 21-18 first game win, but romped home to an easy 21-6 victory in the second game to seal victory for Malaysia.
The Ow Yao Han-Pang Zheng Lin scratch partnership was never in trouble in the 21-11, 21-17 win over Jeffrey Wong-Koh Jia Yi to make it 4-0.
The only blot on an otherwise perfect evening for Malaysia was Hui Ern-Lai Pei Jing’s 19-21, 21-16, 24-26 defeat to Ting Ting-Jiayuan in the girls’ doubles.
“It was our first match, but we did not face much difficulties adapting to the court conditions today.
“The training at the tournament venue prior to the competition certainly helped,” said Iskandar.
“We are now looking forward to the key match against Japan tomorrow. If we can clear the Japanese hurdle to qualify for the semis, we have a good chance of going all the way.”
Before facing Japan in the evening, Malaysia will play France in the morning today.
Denmark were the biggest casualties yesterday, falling 2-3 to Hong Kong.
With the scores tied at 2-2, Yan Poon Lok-Suet Tse Ying delivered the winning point for Hong Kong in the women’s doubles with a 21-14, 21-9 win over Lene Clausen-Sara Thygesen.
Hong Kong will now take on Thailand today to determine the Group X champions.
In Group W, defending champions China and Indonesia warmed up for their winner-takes-all match today with identical 5-0 wins over New Zealand.
China also triumphed over Macau and the Indons beat the Russians by the same scorelines.
Likewise, India and Taiwan will battle it out to become Group Y champions and qualify to the last four today.
Group W: China bt Macau 5-0, Indonesia bt New Zealand 5-0, Russia bt Macau 5-0, Indonesia bt Russia 5-0, China bt New Zealand 5-0.
Group X1: Thailand bt Vietnam 4-1, Vietnam bt Germany 4-1, Thailand bt Germany 5-0.
Group X2: Hong Kong bt Sri Lanka 5-0, Denmark bt Sri Lanka 5-0, Hong Kong bt Denmark 3-2.
Group Y1: India bt Philippines 3- 2, Philippines bt Canada 4-1, India bt Canada 4-1.
Group Y2: Taiwan bt Australia 5-0, England vs Australia 5-0, Taiwan bt England 3-2.
Group Z: Malaysia w.o. Cambodia 5- 0, Japan bt Singapore 5-0, France w.o. Cambodia 5-0, Japan bt Malaysia bt Singapore 4-1 (Chooi Kah Ming-Ng Hui Ern bt Wong Hao Cong-Thng Ting Ting 21-10, 21-13; Iskandar Zulkarnain bt Koh Jia Yi 21-11, 21-10; Tee Jing Yi bt Chen Jiayuan 21-18, 21-6; Ow Yao Han-Pang Zheng Lin bt Jeffrey Wong-Koh Jia Yi 21- 11, 21-17; Lai Pei Jing-Ng Hui Ern lost to Thng Ting Ting-Chen Jiayuan 19-21, 21-16, 24-26).
9am: China vs Russia (W), Indonesia vs Macau (W), Malaysia vs France (Z), Japan vs Cambodia (Z), Germany vs Sri Lanka (X), Canada vs Australia (Y).
2pm: New Zealand vs Macau (W), Vietnam vs Denmark (X), Philippines vs England (Y).
6pm: China vs Indonesia (W), Russia vs New Zealand (W), Malaysia vs Japan (Z), France vs Singapore (Z), Thailand vs Hong Kong (X), India vs Taiwan (Y).