Leong Jun Hao’s Quest for Redemption: Indonesian Masters 2022

PETALING JAYA: Could this be the year of breakthrough for men’s singles shuttler Leong Jun Hao (pic)?

Being one of the longest surviving members in the national team despite injuries and lack of results, the 24-year-old will begin his quest for redemption in the Indonesian Masters starting today in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The journey ahead is tough but the 24-year-old Jun Hao is ready for the challenge.

The spotlight will be more on Jun Hao in the Indonesian Masters as he will be the sole representative from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in the men’s singles.

National No. 1 Ng Tze Yong is still recovering from a muscle tear in his back and is not ready to compete.Professional player and world No. 10 Lee Zii Jia will be the other Malaysian representative in the fray.

Jun Hao, who is currently ranked No. 38 in the world, is hoping to get off to a good start in his first tournament of the year.

He will start from the qualifying round against Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen, who is ranked one rung below the former in the world rankings.

“My preparations for this tournament has been going well,” said Jun Hao. “My first match against Kantaphon will not be easy and I need to get my strategy right.”

A good performance in the tournament could propel Jun Hao closer to his goal of breaking into the world’s top 32 this year.

He came close to the breakthrough he craved last year after capturing the Super 100 KL Masters title in Titiwangsa in November but fell short after failing to maintain his form until the end of the year.

“My targets this year are to win more titles and break into the top 32, so that I can qualify for Super 750 and 1000 events,” said Jun Hao.

“I’m quite close now and I hope I can make it.”

A win over Kantaphon will likely see Jun Hao play Taiwan’s world No. 40 Chi Yu-jen in the second qualifying round.

If he survives both qualifying rounds, he will go up against Japan’s world No. 12 Kenta Nishimoto in the first round of the tournament proper.

Meanwhile, Zii Jia will open his campaign against India’s world No. 25 K. Srikanth.

In the men’s doubles, Malaysia will be banking on Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani and youngsters Choong Hon Jian-Mohd Haikal Nazri in the absence of national No. 1 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

Women’s doubles pairs Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien and Anna Cheong-Teoh Mei Xing will also be seeing action along with Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei, Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Chan Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See in the mixed doubles.

2024-01-22 23:01:43
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