ASIAN JUNIORS 2012 Team QF – Malaysia and Korea squeak into semis

Quarter-final action at the 2012 Badminton Asia Youth Under 19 Mixed Team Championships saw the field once again whittled down to the usual suspects as Malaysia and Korea saw off […]

Quarter-final action at the 2012 Badminton Asia Youth Under 19 Mixed Team Championships saw the field once again whittled down to the usual suspects as Malaysia and Korea saw off tough challenges from Thailand and Hong Kong respectively.

Story and photos: Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent live in Gimcheon

Tan Wee Gieen was able to pick up two points for Malaysia, winning both the mixed and the boys’ doubles, with Calvin Ong (pictured above) in three games.  Choi Sol Kyu was unable to do the same for Korea and had to leave it up to World Champions Lee So Hee / Shin Seung Chan (pictured below) to seal the deal for Korea over Hong Kong with a rout in the final match, the girls’ doubles.

“This was my first match here this week,” said Calvin Ong, “so I had a lot of pressure.  By the second game we were able to play more relaxed and by the third game, we were back in control of the match and we were able to play the way we wanted to play, keeping our mistakes down.”

“I was feeling pressure in the mixed doubles because it was the first match of the tie,” said Tan Wee Gieen (pictured above).  “I was feeling good for the doubles but both matches went to 3 games so I started to get tired and that’s when we started to make mistakes.”

Tan is the younger brother of Tan Wee Kiong, who won two golds at the Asian Juniors back in 2007.  Asked if he was keen to follow in his brother’s footsteps, Wee Gieen said “Hopefully, or maybe do one better.”

Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long (pictured below) is hoping to create his own winning tradition but despite winning both matches, as he had done against India and almost done against Malaysia, it was insufficient to bring down the home team.

Ng’s second win was a narrow one in boys’ doubles, where Choi Sol Kyu was also attempting to be the two-point winner.  Choi had won earlier with Chae Yoo Jung (pictured above) against Hong Kong’s Lee/Yuen.

Mixed doubles is far from predictable in this mixed team competition.  The Thais Sitthikom Thammasin / Narissapat Lam (pictured below) had won mixed in their tie vs. Korea.  Then Korea’s mixed pair beat Lee/Yuen of Hong Kong, who had on Saturday beaten their Malaysian opponents Tan/Chow, who took the key first point on Sunday’s quarter-finals in the mixed over Thammasin/Lam.

Two of the ties were much less competitive, however.  China dispatched Chinese Taipei in three straight matches.  Wang Tzu Wei, despite scoring some key wins in last year’s World Junior Championships, was unable to reproduce that form in Gimcheon and went down to Xue Song (pictured above) in two straight.

Things did finally get interesting when Wang Chih Lin / Wu Hsiao Lin (pictured below) took China’s Wang Yilu and last year’s runner-up Pei Tianyi to three games.

Japan’s tie against Indonesia was even more one-sided.  Nozomi Okuhara (pictured above) has already begun to prove herself, even on the senior stage, so it was not unexpected to see her dominating her opponent.  Kento Momota was the only one close to being in trouble but he managed to hold off Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rushtavito (pictured below) 21-19, 21-15.  Both of them have already begun troubling some of the world’s second-tier players.

Busanan Ongbamrungphan (pictured above left) and Khosit Phetpradab (pictured above right) did their duty on court, though neither cracked a single smile all day, even when they were winning.  Kim Hyo Min (pictured below) of Korea, by contrast, wore the same smile all day, happy or sad but it was her trouncing of Hong Kong’s Tsang Wing Chiu that left her the happiest.

Click here for complete quarter-final results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @