KUALA LUMPUR: A painful experience in Malaysia has made South Korean Jeon Hyuk-jin a more determined shuttler.
Yesterday, Hyuk-jin, who lost in Kota Kinabalu to Malaysia’s Soo Teck Zhi in the final of the Asian Junior Championships in July, rose to the occasion as South Korea won the mixed team title for the first time in seven years in the World Junior Championships in Bangkok.
Hyuk-jin defeated Jonatan Christie 21-16, 21-19 and thanks to the crucial win, the Koreans went on to beat Indonesia 3-2 in the final.
South Korea last won the mixed team title in 2006.
The other points for South Korea were delivered by the girls – Kim Hyo-min and Kim Ji-won-Chae Yoo-jung – who won their singles and doubles matches respectively.
With Hyuk-jin’s strong performances yesterday, he has now put him as one of the favourites for the world junior title.
Malaysia’s four boys’ singles representatives – Teck Zhi, Soong Joo Ven, Cheam June Wei and Lim Chi Wing – will be hoping to avoid the Koreans in the early rounds.
For the record, Malaysia have won the boys’ singles title once through Zulfadli Zulkifli in 2011 while South Korea have also nicked it once through Hong Ji-hoon in 2006.