19/06/2024 09:51 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Jun (Bernama) -- The national squad are expected to make significant strides in both the mixed team and individual events at the 2024 Asian Junior Badminton Championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia from June 28 to July 7.

Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM) junior team head coach Jeff Rosobin expressed optimism based on the performances of players such as men's doubles pair Kang Khai Xing-Aaron Tai, ranked 83rd in the world, and women's singles player Siti Zulaikha Muhammad Azmi, ranked 190th.

Malaysia, drawn in Group B alongside the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan and Macau for the team event, anticipate real challenges in the quarterfinals, with only the top two teams from each group advancing to the knockout rounds.

“"A good draw, we remain focused on showcasing our best because there is a significant chance for success in this event. We have started planning early, with opportunities to score points through Khai Xing-Aaron and Siti, but it requires strategic planning against opponents and taking one match at a time," he said when interviewed at ABM here today.

The coach, who hails from Indonesia, also sees promising prospects for Khai Xing-Aaron in the men's doubles  after the pair emerged as champions in the Dutch Junior International Championships and Thailand Junior International Challenge, besides reaching the final of the German Junior International Championships earlier this year.

Siti Zulaikha has also shown convincing performances this season, finishing as runner-up in the International Series Sri Lanka, and reaching the semifinals of the Dutch Junior International Championships, Austrian Open, and Bonn International Challenge in Germany.

In last year's edition, also held in Yogyakarta, Malaysia returned empty-handed after losing 0-3 in the quarterfinals of the team event, with no representatives making it to the semifinals in the singles events.

It witnessed the Badminton Association  of Malaysia (BAM) terminating  the service of Datuk Misbun Sidek as Director of Junior Singles Coaching last August, causing disappointment for the national badminton legend due to the lack of discussion on the matter.

BAM later apologised and offered Misbun to return to handle the junior singles squad until the end of last year, but Misbun, who accepted the apology, declined the offer to return to BAM.






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