NATIONAL youth coach Kwan Yoke Meng believes some of his shuttlers are better than the retired Lee Chong Wei, when the former World No 1 was a junior.
On Saturday, Fazriq Sidek-Justin Hoh and Ooi Jhy Dar-Yap Roy King reached the boys’ doubles final of the Malaysia International Junior Challenge in Putrajaya.
Fazriq-Justin, both 15, came from behind to defeat compatriots Ching Kai Feng-Loo Bin Kun 15-21, 21-12, 21-17 while Jhy Dar-Roy King saw off Indonesia’s Ashgar Herfanda-Rian Canna Varo 23-21, 21-15 in their respective semi-finals.
Roy King also reached the final of the mixed doubles with Gan Jing Err by ousting top seeds Sirawit Sothon-Pornnicha Suwatnodom of Thailand 21-15, 21-13 in the semi-finals.
They face Indonesia’s Ghana Al Ilham-Berliona Alma Pradisa for the crown today.
“It’s a positive sign for the players ahead of the World Junior Championships (in Russia on Sept 30-Oct 13),” said Yoke Meng yesterday.
“Following the squad’s poor outing in last month’s Asian Junior Championships, this tournament will definitely boost their confidence.
“To be guaranteed of a gold (boys’ doubles) medal is fantastic, let’s hope we can make it two tomorrow (today).
“Our players definitely have the quality to be world-beaters, they just need more time to gain experience.
“Players like Fazriq and Justin are only 15 and they are already beating players a few years older than them.
“To be honest, these young players are even better than Chong Wei, when he was a junior. I want the players to know this.”
At the previous edition in Perlis, Malaysia won one title through girls’ doubles Pearly Tan-Toh Ee Wei.