JAPAN will enter today’s must-win World Junior Badminton Championships Group Z tie against Malaysia in bullish mood.
The Japanese shuttlers put on a convincing performance in the 5-0 drubbing of Singapore yesterday without dropping a single game.
Now, they have set their sights on overcoming the second-seeded Malaysians and clinch the semi-final ticket from the group.
It will be a repeat of the Asian junior semi-final clash in July, which Malaysia won 3-1.
But Japan’s junior coach Rionny Mainaky, the brother of national doubles coach Rexy, is predicting a much closer battle today.
“Japan were nervous and felt intimidated by the home crowd during the Asian meet (in Kuala Lumpur) as it was the players’ first experience in a high-pressure atmospere.
“They have learnt their lessons, and will not be overawed easily in Alor Setar.