KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia have an amazing record of producing world-class boys’ doubles badminton pairs at the junior level.
They have won seven of the 15 editions of the World Junior Championships from 1992-2013 and four in the Asian Junior Championships since it began in 1997.
However, over the past couple of years, our national shuttlers have suffered a slump.
Nelson Heg Wei Keat-Teo Ee Yi were the last Malaysians to win the boys’ doubles title at the junior level – triumphing at the 2011 World Junior Championships in Taiwan.
With the Asian Junior Championships set to begin on Sunday in Taiwan, can a Malaysian pair restore the country’s reputation in the doubles department this year?
Boys’ doubles pair Chua Khek Wei-Ng Di Hua certainly think so.
“We were only paired about a month ago. However, we have set our targets high – to reach the final. We want to give it our best as this will be our final year in the junior championships,” said the 18-year-olds.
“We have been training hard with the national senior team. The training is tougher but we have improved on various aspects of our game and we plan to put up a good showing in Taiwan,” said Khek Wei.
It will be tough for Malaysia to reach the later stages in the mixed team event as they will have teams like China and Thailand to contend with.
“China will be very tough to beat ... they are a very solid team,” said Khek Wei, who will be paired up with Cheam June Wei for the mixed team event.
Even coach Wong Pei Tty admitted that Malaysia had a slim chance of making the final in the mixed team event.