PETALING JAYA: December was a month of high and low for world No. 13 Chong Wei Feng.
The Kedahan was down in the dumps after a shocking first round defeat at the Myanmar SEA Games, but recovered well to win his first national title in his career.
Now, he is eager to start the year on a high when he takes to the court in the first round of the Korean Open in Seoul on Wednesday.
The scrawny Wei Feng, who has improved by leaps and bounds despite the Myanmar shocker, is fired up for a good result with places for the Thomas Cup, to be held from May 18-25 in New Delhi, India, at stake.
KUALA LUMPUR: Former international Razif Sidek will not act as an assessor for the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) unless he is given an official letter of appointment.
As of Monday, Razif still had not received any official appointment letter from BAM’s president Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff although he had requested for it several times.
Last year, Razif was brought in as an assessor in September and given several roles. He was to assess the national players and coaches, and he was even sent as team manager to the Denmark Open in Odense in October.
Though he is now World No. 1 in junior badminton rankings, 17-year-old Aditya Joshi knows it will be not be easy in the coming days. This year will be his last in junior circuit. He is hopeful of cashing in on the latest status and excel in the tournaments that he gets to play, the next immediate being the India Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow from January 21 to 26.
“It feels great to be world No. 1 in my age group. It also gives me a lot of motivation. Being World No. 1 means a lot to me, that I am the best among all other shuttlers in the world. At the same time, it puts me under pressure to perform,” Aditya told dna from Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, where he trains with his father, Atul Kumar Joshi, a badminton coach at the Sports Authority of India.
The B. Com first year student is not one to sit on his laurels. “No break for the time being,” he said.
“I’m at home training with my father and preparing for the tournaments ahead. My plan is to keep performing well this year and continue the same when I get into the seniors in 2015,” Joshi said.
KUALA LUMPUR: Fatherhood will be the motivation for national doubles shuttler Koo Kien Keat to turn around his flagging career this year.
The 28-year-old, who married Audrey Tan last year, is set to become a proud father. His wife is due in April.
And with the baby on its way, Kien Keat is looking very positive to restore his fortunes in badminton with his loyal partner Tan Boon Heong.
“I am quite excited to become a father. It means more changes and responsibility but I am looking forward to the juggling act (of striking a balance between family and badminton),” said Kien Keat after a training session on Monday.
“I hope to make my child and family proud by doing well in badminton. I have to admit that there have not been much good results for me of late and I hope to get back to the top,” he said.
KUALA LUMPUR: National doubles coach Pang Cheh Chang is optimistic the healthy rivalry between Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong and Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem will revive Malaysia’s fortunes this season.
Malaysia have been starved off major Open titles from the men’s doubles department over the last three years.
Thien How-Wee Kiong defeated Khim Wah-V Shem in a closely-fought final in the National Grand Prix Finals at Putrajaya last month, sparking a promise that the country’s second and third-ranked pairs are set to snap at each other’s heels this year.
The two pairs will get to show who are better when they begin their campaigns in the season-opener Korean Open in Seoul on Wednesday.