Malaysia blown away in Badminton Asia Junior (Mixed Team)Championships
Two-time champions Malaysia is out of the Badminton Asia Junior Mixed Team Championships after going down to last year's runners-up Japan 3-2 - in their second match at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Center in Suzhou, China on Saturday.
It was Malaysia's second defeat in the three-team Group A after losing to top seeds Indonesia 5-0 earlier in the morning.
This is the first time in the history of the mixed team championships that Malaysia has failed to get past the group stage.
With Tan Zhing Yi out with a groin injury while playing against Indonesia's Putri Kusuma Wardani, national junior head coach Kwan Yoke Meng fielded newly crowned Under-16 champion K. Letshanaa in the match against Japan.
Letshanaa, however, was totally lost in her women's singles match against Riko Gunji and it was an uphill task for the Malaysians from thereafter with men's doubles Lwi Sheng Hao-Ooi Jhy Dar failing to nail the opening point in their 21-18, 16-21, 21-19 defeat to Yoshifumi Fujisawa-Kakeru Kumagai in a 50-minute battle.
However, Letshanaa failed to deliver and Yoke Meng said "nerves got the better of Lestshanaa" against the Japanese.
"Letshanaa is a better player if she had played her opponent before. This was evident in her match against Gunji. She (Letshanaa) played better in the second game but it was too late for her to catch up. Gunji also has strong legs," said Yoke Meng.
Yoke Meng, however, was more disappointed with the defeat in the men's doubles as he had hopes in the men's and women's doubles and the mixed doubles.
Malaysia's top mixed doubles pair Yap Roy King-Gan Jing Err salvaged a second point by winning the mixed doubles.
In other matches, Singapore advanced from Group D with a 5-0 win over Nepal.
RESULTS (Mixed Team)
Japan 3 Malaysia 2
Thailand 5 Hong Kong China 0
Chinese Taipei 4 Sri Lanka 1
Korea 5 Mongolia 0
India 5 Macau China 0
Singapore 5 Nepal 0