KUALA LUMPUR: There was no joy for Malaysia at the Maybank Malaysia International Youth Under-19 badminton championships at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
There were high expectations as Malaysia were contesting for two titles. Unfortunately, both the boys’ singles and doubles representatives came up short.
Top seed Soo Teck Zhi made a solid start but came up short in the end to lose 21-13, 19-21, 14-21 to Choi Sol-kyu of South Korea.
Teck Zhi, the Asian junior champion, started off brilliantly with a convincing display in the opening game. But a series of errors in the second allowed defending champion Sol-kyu to even the score.
Then with Sol-kyu leading 2-1 in the rubber, Teck Zhi called for medical treatment due to blisters on his right foot.
The 18-year-old Teck Zhi tried to get back into the game but without much success. He eventually lost 14-21 and the title.
Sol-kyu took home US$1,125 (RM3,701) while Teck Zhi received US$570 (RM1,875).
“I really tried my best, but the blisters got really bad towards the end,” said Teck Zhi.
“Losing here has not affected my confidence. My main goal is to do well in next month’s World Junior Championships in Bangkok,” added Teck Zhi, who will compete in the KL Open, the second leg of the Maybank National Circuit, from Oct 2-6.
Darren Isaac Devadass and Ong Yew Sin also failed to lift their game in the boys’ doubles final. The second seeds lost 17-21, 19-21 to South Koreans Kim Jae-hwan-Kim Jung-ho.
After losing the opening game, Darren-Yew Sin fought back in the second to lead 19-17. But the Kedah Open champions committed four unforced errors to give the top seeded Koreans victory.
Darren-Yew Sin had to settle for US$570 while Jae-hwan-Jung-ho collected US$1,185 (RM3,899).
“We tried our best. We were so close to taking the second game but just could not close it out due to our mistakes,” said Yew Sin.
“Jae-hwan and Jung-ho played really well today, much better than they did in their earlier rounds ... they deserved the win,” said Darren.