Contrasting fortunes for back-up shuttlers in National GP Finals

PETALING JAYA: National back-up men’s singles shuttlers Lim Chi Wing and Soong Joo Ven enjoyed contrasting fortunes at the National Grand Prix Finals in Kuala Terengganu.

While 19-year-old Chi Wing has every reason to smile after qualifying for the semi-finals, it was heartbreak for Joo Ven, also 19, as he missed out on a last four slot on countback.

On Sunday, Joo Ven was on fire as he beat fourth seed Goh Soon Huat 21-14, 21-16 before taming team-mate Lee Zii Jia 21-13, 21-16.

But Joo Ven could only finish second in Group C, having lost 12-21, 16-21 to Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin on Saturday.

Iskandar, who was surprisingly beaten by Zii Jia in his second group match, bounced back to beat Soon Huat 14-21, 21-16, 21-11 to finish top of the group and a place in the semi-finals. He will meet top seed Zulfadli Zulkiffli for a place in the final.

“I wasted a good chance to reach the semis. I should have given Iskandar a better fight on Saturday,” said Joo Ven.

“Although things didn’t go my way, I’m happy with the way I ended my year ... especially in beating Soon Huat who is far more experienced. It will be a good boost before I start the new year.”

Chi Wing did just enough to progress from Group B despite losing 21-13, 12-21, 14-21 to R. Satheishtharan in his last Group B match.

Chi Wing, who had earlier beaten Lim Fang Yang and Goh Giap Chin, finished first in the group on countback.

“To make the semi-finals is quite unexpected and I was lucky to progress,” said Chi Wing.

The Vietnam International Series champion will face Liew Daren in the semi-finals.

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