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Monday January 7, 2013

Kwong Beng leaves BAM and may turn pro

Poor record: Chan Kwong Beng has no significant results to show in his 11 years with the national team. Poor record: Chan Kwong Beng has no significant results to show in his 11 years with the national team.

KUALA LUMPUR: National men’s singles player Chan Kwong Beng has quit the national badminton team at the age of 24.

Following his failure to produce any significant results, Kwong Beng said it was time to call an end to his 11-year career.

With his exit, only two shuttlers – Liew Daren and Chong Wei Feng – from his batch are left to carry the torch if world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei retires.

Kwong Beng said he made the decision after a long deliberation.

“I leave knowing that I’ve given my best in all those years. It is unbelievable that 11 years have gone by. I began my career as a junior at the BAM Academy. For the last few years, I worked doubly hard to make a major breakthrough. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy any outstanding results,” said Kwong Beng.

When Kwong Beng began his career, he was touted as one of the brightest local stars. He was outstanding in training and was one of the favoured sparring partners of Chong Wei. When Chong Wei was preparing for last year’s Olympic Games, Kwong Beng was handpicked to train with him in London.

Kwong Beng’s biggest drawback was that he was his own worst enemy. He failed to translate his training form when competing and hardly had any outstanding international results to show.

Except for a semi-final finish at the Malaysia International Challenge last month, Kwong Beng was an early round casualty in the international front last year.

“I am grateful to the BAM for keeping me under their wings and giving me so many opportunities over the last 11 years. Chong Wei has been a good mentor to me and I will not forget all his pep talks and encouragements. It is just unfortunate that I did not take my chances well,” said Kwong Beng

Kwong Beng, however, hopes that his peers – Daren and Wei Feng – will be more successful than him.

Daren won his first Super Series title last year at the French Open while Wei Feng reached his first Super Series semi-finals at the China Open.

“Our batch has been under tremendous pressure as we are constantly compared with Chong Wei. I am glad that Daren and Wei Feng have shown some improvements and I wish them plenty of success this year.”

On his future plan, Kwong Beng said that he would turn professional.

“I am still very much into badminton. I will give it a shot as a professional player and see whether my fortunes will change for the better. Firstly though, I must find a sponsor,” added Kwong Beng.

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