PETALING JAYA: Aspiring shuttler Eogene Ewe Eon (pic) is just 14 years old. And he is already thinking big. He wants to emulate his hero, world No. 1 Kento Momota, and conquer the world like the Japanese superstar has.
The ambitious boy from Penang has set his sights on becoming the Asian and world junior champion within the next three years. But first, he wants to make a name for himself at junior level.
On Saturday, Eogene won his second international title of the season by triumphing in the Under-15 boys’ singles competition of the Daihatsu Astec Regional Junior Championships in Jakarta.
He overcame six opponents, including five homesters, without dropping a single game en route to victory.
That included a 21-15,21-16 thumping of top seed Alwi Farhan and a 21-19,21-18 victory over third seed Prahdiska Bagas Shujiwo in the semi-final and final respectively.
“I’m really happy to have won in Jakarta last week. It made up for my earlier disappointment when I lost to Alwi in the final in Yogyakarta (the earlier leg in August), ” said Eogene, who also won the Smilish Fish Open in Trang, Thailand, in May.
“It’s never easy to play the Indonesians in their own backyard and I’m really proud to have beaten Alwi this time and then Prahdiska for the title. They are among the top Under-15 shuttlers in Indonesia, so it means a lot to me.”
Eogene’s next target is to first secure his debut for two major tournaments next year – the Asian Junior Championships (venue and date to be confirmed) and the World Junior Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, in October.
Just last month, Eogene showed his mettle in the National Under-18 Championships in Alor Setar, Kedah, by emerging runner-up to 16-year-old national teammate Ong Zhen Yi.
The young Penangite could well break into the national first team in 2020 if the fine progress he’s making this year is anything to go by.
“I believe I’m on the right track. Of course, I have to keep the good results coming and convince the coaches to select me for the world and Asian juniors next year, ” he said.
“I never see myself too young. I hope to start playing in these two major tournaments soon. That’s where all the best junior players in the world assemble.
“My ambition is to become a world and Olympic champion one day, but I also wish to do well at junior level first.
“Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand won his first world junior title at 16. He went on to win two more to complete a hattrick (in Kazan, Russia) last month. I’m inspired by him, too. If he can do it, I believe I can too.”