FORMER Asian junior champion Kenichi Tago is fast gaining the tag as the giant-killer in his debut in the World Championships.
And he attributes the success to his mother, Yoshiko Yonekura.
Yesterday, the 20-year-old defeated Germany’s top shuttler Marc Zwiebler 21-15, 21-10 to check into the third round. The previous day, he beat seventh seed Joachim Persson of Denmark for his biggest career win thus far.
Tago will take on Indonesian Simon Santoso today for a place in the quarter-finals and he is hoping to continue his fairy-tale run.
“My mother was a national player and she did quite well in badminton. She is an inspiration to me,” he said.
Yonekura was a two-time doubles runner-up at the All-England and a semi-finalist in the World Championships.
Since winning the Asian junior title in 2006, Tago has been struggling to find his footing on the big stage.
“I am playing well here and my net play has improved. I think this has been the key to my good showing in this tournament,” he said.
On his match against Simon, he said: “I will still be going in as the underdog but it will be great if I can continue my good run here.”