Badminton Life

Malaysian Pair Celebrate Junior Doubles Title

Malaysia's Mak Hee Chun and Teo Kok Siang were making their third attempt at the Asian Junior Championships doubles competition and they finally made the breakthrough they were seeking.

Having failed twice before, the duo gain revenge over the South Korean pair of Choi Young-woo and Kim Ki-jung 21-13, 21-18 in the final at Bukit Kiara. Earlier in the competition, they were beaten by the same Korean pair in the mixed team competition semi-finals.

The Koreans were not happy to lose, especially because the Malaysians won the last two points with flick serves. Korea protested but they were overruled by the umpire. As a result, the Koreans refused to attend the prize presentation ceremony.

Malaysia had not won a boys' doubles title since 2002 when Koo Kien Keat and Ong Soon Hock triumphed.

Koo, of course, is now one of Malaysia's top doubles players, having partnered Tan Boon Heong to the All England title in 2007.

Mak and Teo can also look forward to a potentially glittering career after their triumphant feat.

It was a particularly poignant victory for Teo, whose family had driven all the way from Johor to support him. Included in the family support crew was his older brother Teo Kok Seng, a former Asian Junior and World Junior champion.

"It was great to see my family in the stadium. I am happy that I finally won an Asian junior title, just like my brother," said Teo said in The Star newspaper.

"I will try to make it a double by winning the world junior title (in Pune, India in November)."

He said the pair were too nervous when they lost to the Koreans in the mixed team competition and they made sure they did not make the same error again.

"We came out of a nervous start faster than the Koreans. We did not give them the space to attack. We were more patient this time and it worked well for us," he said.

"The Koreans protested against my flick serves but it feels good that we managed to pull it off."

The 18-year-old Mak said the victory was a long time coming and they hope to end their successful partnership with a good run at the world championships.

Said Mak: "This is our last outing in the Asian Juniors and we are the champions. We will be out to end our career in the junior ranks by doing well in the world championships."

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