Soong Joo Ven: 'I feel a sense of urgency to train harder in order to catch up with (players like Kento Momota), especially since we participated in similar tournaments during our junior days.'
KUALA LUMPUR: Nothing spurs a sportsman or woman more than watching their peers do well competitively.
National back-up shuttler Soong Joo Ven knows that the clock is ticking and the time to excel is now, especially since his peers are competing in the Superseries and other premier tournaments.
“Sometimes when I watch players like (Kento) Momota of Japan competing at these tournaments, I feel a sense of urgency to train harder in order to catch up with them, especially since we participated in similar tournaments during our junior days,” said the 19-year-old Joo Ven.
Kento Momota recently competed in the All-England tournament where he put on an impressive show to beat the likes of England’s top shuttler Rajiv Ouseph in straight games, 21-15, 21-10. The 20-year-old eventually lost out to world number one Lee Chong Wei 21-14, 21-18 in the quarter-finals.
Momota is currently 12th in the world rankings.
Joo Ven feels that he was not in good form in 2013 but is determined to turn things around this year.
“Last year, my form stagnated and I did not perform well in senior tournaments. My current world ranking is 158th and by the end of this year, I hope to break into the top 100. I want to play in the Superseries and premier Superseries events in the near future,” said Joo Ven.
But first he has to overcome an ankle injury.
Joo Ven had to pull out from the upcoming Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold in Pasir Gudang from March 25-30 after picking up the injury during training last week.
“I had been training intensively under coach Hendrawan for this tournament. I had also been doing more weight training to improve my attacking game, so I am really upset that I will not have a chance to compete. I wanted to just press on but was advised against it by my coach,” he said.
This injury has not dampened the shuttler’s determination. In fact, he is confident of having a swift recovery in time to compete in the China Masters GP Gold from April 15-20 and Sukma (Malaysia Games) from May 24-June 4.