Bilbao: No. 2 seed boys’ singles player Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia and the No. 16 seeds mixed doubles pair Chen Tang Jie/Toh Eei Wei have kept Malaysian’s hopes alive after rallying into the semifinals of World Junior Badminton Championships held in Bilbao, Spain on Friday.
Lee took the first set easily with 21-12 in the quarterfinals against Toma Junior Popov of France, and was able to shrug off a slow start in the second set, coming back from 2-7 to beat Popov 21-18 in the second set.
The 18-year-old Lee will play Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo from Indonesia on Saturday. Wardoyo overcame Ryan Ng of Singapore 21-18, 21-14 to reach the semifinals.
In the mixed doubles event, Chen Tang Jie/Toh Eei Wei narrowly escaped a quarter-final defeat on Friday as they held off a late surge from rivals Satwiksairaj Rankireddy/Kuhoo Garg of India 13-21, 21-12, 21-19 to cruise into the semifinals.
Chen/Toh are set to take on No. 1 seeds He Jiting/Du Yue of China next.
Malaysia’s boys’ doubles pair Leong Jun Hao/Ooi Zi Heng have fizzled out after losing to top seeds Hang Chenkai/Zhou Haodong of China 8-21, 10-21.