June Wei picks up the pieces after shattered SEA Games dream


  • Badminton
  • Sunday, 08 Sep 2019

PETALING JAYA: Cheam June Wei’s hopes of making his SEA Games debut went up in smoke when he failed to make the selection three weeks ago.

The 22-year-old looked set to join fellow seniors Lee Zii Jia and Soong Joo Ven but he lost out to national team rookies Lim Chong King and Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin in the fight to complete the team of four line-up.

But June Wei’s spirit certainly wasn’t dampened. He swiftly showed what the team might be missing in the SEA Games by turning in an impressive performance at the Taiwan Open.

June Wei’s gallant run in the fourth-tier World Tour tournament ended in the quarter-finals on Friday but the world No. 78 can still walk tall after stretching world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen to the limit before going down 11-21, 21-15, 17-21 in a 63-minute pulsating battle.

He did get the chance to emulate Zii Jia’s famous victory over Tien-chen in front of his home fans last year but the experience of managing nerves during the crucial moments surely made the difference for the Taiwanese ace.

June Wei was leading 14-12 in the rubber game before Tien-chen turned the tide to seal the tie.

“It was so close and I let slip a good opportunity for a big win,” said June Wei.

“But Tien-chen clearly is way superior in terms of experience. This was definitely an eye-opener of how much catching-up I needed to do to narrow the gap on these top players.”

June Wei was relieved to stop the rot with a commendable showing and is eager to build on the solid campaign to rebuild his stagnant career.

Prior to reaching the quarter-finals in Taiwan, June Wei failed to make the main draw of the Thailand Open and lost in the second round of the fifth-tier Hyderabad Open in India last month.

“After the Malaysian International Series (where he finished runner-up to Joo Ven), my performance was below par. But I didn’t dwell too much on it and kept believing in myself that good things will come as long as I don’t give up,” said June Wei.

“Reaching the quarter-finals here means a lot to me and it’s going to be a big boost to my confidence.

“I can see that I’m improving everyday, hopefully I can get even better in the coming tournaments.”

Now, June Wei is hoping to resume the good form he enjoyed early this year.

June Wei’s next assignment is at the Yuzu Indonesian Masters in Malang from Oct 1-6.
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Cheam June Wei , Taiwan Open

   

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