KUALA LUMPUR: Ho Yen Mei is the only Malaysian girl left in the tournament, and with nothing to lose, she is going for broke in the girls’ singles event at the Maybank Malaysia International Youth Under-19 badminton championships.
The 17-year-old beat compatriot Yap Rui Chen 21-16, 21-14 to set up a quarter-final clash against China’s Qin Jingjing on Friday.
The only other Malaysian girl, Sylvia Kavita Kumares, fell to top seed Kim Hyo-min of South Korea 17-21, 17-21 in 33 minutes.
“It’s tough being the only one left in the draw but it happens,” said Yen Mei who has yet to land a title. She emerged runner-up at this year’s Smiling Fish Thailand International Series and Dutch Junior International.
Jingjing, seeded sixth, fought back after being a set down, to beat South Korea’s Jun Joo-i 19-21, 21-16, 21-14.
While Yen Mei has not gone up against the Chinese player prior to Friday’s match, the fourth seed will be hoping to hold her own against the reigning Asian Youth Games champion in the quarter-final match.
“I’ve not gone up against her, but I’m confident of my game. I’m feeling very comfortable on court. Even when I went up against my team-mate (Rui Chen) today, I played my best. I’m determined to go all out against Jingjing tomorrow,” said Yen Mei.
In the boys’ singles event, Tan Teck Han pulled off an upset after beating China’s 11th seed Shi Yuqi 16-21,22-20,22-20 in the second round. Teck Han’s good run came to a halt against compatriot Soong Joo Ven when the latter beat him 23-21, 21-16 to advance to the quarter-finals where he will face defending champion Choi Sol-kyu of South Korea.
Top seed Soo Teck Zhi also advanced to the next round with a 21-14, 21-18 win over Chinese qualifier Sun Feixiang. He will face Indonesia’s Andrew Susanto for a place in Saturday’s semi-finals.
In the boys’ doubles, third seeds Chua Khek Wei-Woon Mun Chun crashed out of the competition after losing 24-26, 18-21 to Thailand’s Krit Tantianankul-Mek Narongrit.
However, Malaysia’s hopes for boys’ doubles champions is still alive with second seeds Darren Isaac Devadass-Ong Yew Sin, Lim Chi Wing-Cheam June Wei and Chua Keh Yeap-Muhammad Amzzar Maszainuddin still in the mix.