Yeoh Seng Zoe: ' It is difficult for club players like me to get a chance to compete in international tournaments. So, reaching the second round of a GP Gold event is a big deal for me.'
PASIR GUDANG: Club shuttler Yeoh Seng Zoe was disappointed when he was not invited by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) for the World Junior Championships selection trial two weeks ago but it has not dampened his spirit.
On Wednesday, the 17-year-old Seng Zoe from Looi Badminton Academy displayed some cool moves on his way to the second round of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold at the Pasir Gudang Municipal Stadium.
He defeated China-born Chao Huang of Singapore 21-18, 22-20 in the opening round and will take on the winner of an all-Indian match between Gaurav Venkat and R.M.V. Gurusaidutt in the second round.
Seng Zoe, who joined the professional club one and a half years ago, was happy to clear the opening round.
“It is difficult for club players like me to get a chance to compete in international tournaments. So, reaching the second round of a GP Gold event is a big deal for me,” said Seng Zoe, who will be sitting for his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) exam this year.
He has been training under the club's new coach Bayu Sukmo of Indonesia and he has competed in two previous smaller international tournaments – the Iran and Uganda International tournaments in February. In Uganda, he won the doubles title with Chong Chun Quan.
The Penangite, who looks up to his idol Lee Chong Wei and aspires to become a player in the top 10 standings in the world by the time he turns 25, hopes to get a chance to gauge his standard against the juniors from BAM.
“I was looking forward to attending the selection trial for the World Junior Championships (two weeks ago) but I was not invited. Hopefully, there will be other chances to see where club players like me stand alongside the national juniors,” he said.
The World Junior Championships will be held in Alor Setar from April 7-18 and BAM have named four boys' singles players – Cheam June Wei, R. Satheishtharan, Tan Jia Wei and Lee Zi Jia.