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Monday December 10, 2012

Kwong Beng is at a career crossroads

Mulling over future: Chan Kwong
Beng will make a final decision on
his 11-year badminton career with
BAM by end of this month. Mulling over future: Chan Kwong Beng will make a final decision on his 11-year badminton career with BAM by end of this month.

KUALA LUMPUR: Singles back-up shuttler Chan Kwong Beng is at a career crossroads – should he stay or give up his spot in the national badminton team?

The 24-year-old will make a final decision on his 11-year badminton career with Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) by end of this month.

While his peers – Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng – have improved by leaps and bounds, Kwong Beng has stagnated and is at a lowly 109th spot in the world.

Daren (16th), Wei Feng (22nd), Tan Chun Seang (33rd), Mohd Arif Abdul Latif (35th), Mohd Hafiz Hashim (54th), Zulfadli Zulkifli (67th), Misbun Ramdan Misbun (74th), Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin (85th) and Goh Soon Huat (87th) are all way ahead of him in the rankings. And let’s not even bring in Lee Chong Wei, the world No. 1.

Injuries, illness and the lack of results have continued to haunt Kwong Beng, who admitted that the pressure – resulting from his lack of breakthroughs and the good achievements of his peers – was finally getting to him.

“I am mulling over my future as a player in the national team. Things are not going the way I’ve envisioned,” said Kwong Beng. “I’ll have a word with chief coach Rashid Sidek soon and see if there’s anything I can do to come out of this rut or if I should just give up. I joined the BAM Academy 11 years ago ... it’s not easy to give up the sport I love without trying.”

Except for a semi-final finish at the Malaysia International Challenge last month, Kwong Beng has never got past the early rounds of any other tournaments this year. In fact, he hasn’t won a single title – not even a satellite tournament – since making it to the back-up squad in 2005.

Meanwhile, South Korea made a clean sweep of all the five titles in the GP Gold in Jeonnam yesterday – a day after Malaysia’s Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Sonia Cheah and Goh V Shem-Ong Jian Guo crashed out in the semi-finals.

Results

Men’s singles: Lee Dong-keun (Kor) bt Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) 21-17, 21-14.

Men’s doubles: Ko Sung-hyun-Lee Yong-dae (Kor) bt Kim Kijung- Kim Sa-rang (Kor) 21-12, 21-11.

Women’s singles: Sung ji-hyun (Kor) bt Aprilla Yuswandari (Ina) 21-10, 21-10.

Women’s doubles: Eom Hye-won-Jang Ye-na (Kor) bt Lee Sohee- Shin Seung-chan (Tpe) 21-13, 21-17.

Mixed doubles: Shin Baek-cheol-Eom Hye-won (Kor) bt Yoo Yeon-seong-Jang Ye-na (Kor) 11-21, 21-18, 25-23.

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