This was reported in the Star. Of note, look at the last paragraph on IBF approving the use of plastic shuttles. Anyone familiar with this? Or is this for junior tournaments only? It's CRAZY. The Star. Thursday December 29, 2005 Malaysia virtually book semi-final berth after win over Japan KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia took a big step towards securing a semi-final ticket when they beat Japan 2-1 in a Group D tie of the Asian Under-16 Boys’ Team Finals badminton championship at the KLBA Stadium in Cheras yesterday. The Malaysian team, made up of shuttlers from the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), picked up the first point through Teo Kok Siang in the singles. Kok Siang defeated Kido Michiharu 21-13, 21-11 but Japan staged a comeback when they won the next singles match. Top Malaysian Under-16 player Kuan Kam Chung went down fighting 16-21, 21-16, 19-21 to Wada Shu. Kok Siang returned later to partner Mak Hee Chun to clinch the winning point for Malaysia in the deciding doubles match, beating Takiuchi Ryo-Kamura Takeshi 21-13, 21-12. Malaysia will confirm their place in the semi-finals if they beat Iran today. The four respective group winners qualify for the crossover semi-finals. Japan had chalked up a 3-0 win over Iran earlier in the morning and Malaysian team manager Hau Kim Tho said their opening match yesterday was crucial for the team. “We had expected Japan to put up some fight. By beating Japan, we are virtually in the semi-finals. Our objective is to beat Iran to emerge as Group B winners. We are likely to face Indonesia in the semi-finals,” said Kim Tho. Indonesia are expected to top Group B after a 3-0 win over Nepal in their opening match yesterday. The Indonesians will complete their campaign against Syria today. South Korea became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals but they were made to work hard by India and Myanmar. The Koreans won both ties 2-1, thanks to their doubles pair of Lee Dong-keun-Kim Ki-jung. Favourites China had it easy yesterday. The Chinese team, who are expected to meet South Korea in the other semi-final, did not even have to lift their racquets after their Group A opponents Jordan failed to turn up. China should beat Sri Lanka today to qualify for the semi-finals. The championship has adopted the best-of-three-game 21 points new scoring system and plastic shuttlecocks. The new scoring system and plastic shuttlecocks will be used for all International Badminton Federation (IBF)-organised competitions from Feb 1.