Top seed Chia Jeng Hon cruised into the second round of the Petronas National Under-21 Championships 2023 at the Perak Badminton Academy hall in Ipoh while hot on his heels are several elite and national junior players.

The 19-year-old Jeng Hon, who is ranked 245 in the world and one of BA of Malaysia’s fast-rising players, defeated Selangor’s Ong Lee Tao 21-12, 21-13 to setup up a showdown against Kuala Lumpur’s Murali Desan in the next round of their men’s singles encounter.

BAM’s Lee Jan Jireh Zhi Ming, seeded 5-8, clawed back from a 14-21 first-set defeat against Tae Ern Ong of Kuala Lumpur to win the second set 21-19 and deciding game 21-16 in a 55 minutes duel.

Faiq Muhammad (9/16) and Lim Boon Le, both BAM representatives, also advanced to the second round. Faiq defeated Mohd Zulkifli Radin from Selangor 21-10, 21-11 while Boon Le triumphed 21-14, 18-21, 21-11 against Sarawak’s Eric Choo Chung Li.

Eogene Ewe Eon, seeded 3-4, who reached the final of the German Open last Sunday, will start his challenge later in the evening.

In the absence of Justin Hoh, who is in China competing in the Super 100 China Masters, the Petronas National Under-21 championships will be a good hunting ground for the National Under-18 players who gearing for the Asian Junior championships in Jakarta in July and the World Junior championships in Hawaii in September.

Among the juniors who had a successful tour of Europe competing here are Italian Junior boys’ doubles champions Kang Khai Xing-Aaron Tai and Ung Yi Xing who won the girls’ singles title.

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