KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie is only 16 years old but the boys’ singles shuttler is creating a stir in the ongoing mixed team event in the World Junior Championships in Bangkok.
And Malaysia’s Soong Joo Ven sees the new face as one of his rivals for the individual title.
The individual competition starts on Monday.
Yesterday, Jonatan, who looks mature for his age, did his country proud when he upstaged Shi Yuqi 21-14, 21-18 to deliver a crucial point to help Indonesia beat defending champions China 3-2 in the semi-finals of the mixed team event.
The youngster had, on Thursday, torn apart Malaysia’s Asian junior champion Soo Teck Zhi in the quarter-final tie. Malaysia eventually lost 3-1.
Joo Ven said that Jonatan had improved since joining the Indonesian national team this year.
In fact, he did well to win the International Indonesia Challenge this year and even beat former international Mohd Arif Abdul Latif in the Indonesian Open Grand Prix Finals.
“He did not compete in the Asian Juniors this year but has done well in some other tournaments.
“Here (in Bangkok), he has shown marked improvement in his game.
“He is a player with impressive attacking skills.
“He will be one of the players to watch out for his age and inexperience.”
On Saturday, Joo Ven played in a tie against Taiwan for the fifth-eighth placing playoff and defeated Lu Chia-hung 21-15, 21-15 to contribute one point in Malaysia’s 3-1 win.
He was rested in the tie against Thailand, which Malaysia went on to win 3-1 to finish as the fifth best team.
The 18-year-old Joo Ven, is playing in his last world junior meet.
He is eyeing his best ever result in the individual competition.
The other boys’ singles aiming to make a mark in the Malaysian team are Teck Zhi, Cheam June Wei and Lim Chi Wing.