Top seeds Indonesia and defending champions China win big
Defending champions China got off to a roaring start in search of the ninth title in the Badminton Asia Junior Championships ( Mixed Team Events) with a 5-0 whitewash of minnows Nepal in their opening Group D match on Saturday.
Other teams with 5-0 victory margins were Thailand who blanked Sri Lanka in Group B match while India and Korea ripped through minnows Mongolia and Macau China respectively in Group C matches.
However, it was the Group A tie between top seeds Indonesia and Malaysia which was the main focus at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Center in Suzhou, China in the morning matches.
Both, Indonesia and Malaysia went into the match as bronze medal winners at last year's championships held in Bintaro, Jakarta. Indonesia lost 1-3 to China while Japan beat Malaysia 3-0 in the semi-finals.
Indonesia lived up to their top billing in this year's championships with a 5-0 win over Malaysia although many had expected the Malaysians to put in a challenge. Malaysia will now battle last year's runners-up Japan later in the evening to keep their quarter-final hopes alive in the three-team group.
Indonesia coach Rudy Gunawan said after his team's win over Malaysia: "It is unfortunate that three teams (Indonesia, Japan, and Malaysia) are in the same group...but this is the luck of the draw."
Malaysia's coach Kwan Yoke Meng was disappointed with the big defeat but put up a brave front and hopes that his team will stay alive instead of facing exit in the group stage for the first time since the championships were incepted in 2006.
The Indonesians grabbed the first point by winning the men's doubles through Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin with a 21-16, 21-15 win over Ching Kai Feng-Loo Bing Kun and made it 2-0 through Putri Kusuma Wardani who ran out 21-8, 21-13 winner against Tan Zhing Yi in the women's singles.
It was a disappointing defeat for Zhing Yi who also picked up a groin injury during the match.
Lee Shun Yang was the only player who put up some resistance in his 21-8, 11-21, 21-19 defeat to Bobby Setiabudi in a 50-minute match. It was plain sailing for the Indonesians in the women's doubles (Nita Violina Marwah-Putri Syaikah) and mixed doubles (Leo Rolly Carnando-Indah Cahya Sari Jamil).
The Group B encounter between Hong Kong China and Chinese Taipei was a thriller all the way before the women's doubles pair of Tsang Hiu Yan-Yeung Pui Lan clinched Hong Kong China a 3-2 win. They beat Jiang Pin-Yue-Ting Ya-Yun 21-11, 21-15.
Hong Kong China's other points came through the mixed doubles and the men's doubles and the tie was tied at 2-2 after Chinese Taipei won both the men's and women's singles.
Indonesia 5 Malaysia 0
Thailand 5 Sri Lanka 0
Hong Kong China 3 Chinese Taipei 2
Korea 5 Macau China 0
India 5 Mongolia 0
China 5 Nepal 0