Bad news from Indonesia for indie Soong

PETALING JAYA: Independent shuttler Soong Joo Ven will be under pressure to maintain his ranking once the world badminton circuit resumes later this year.

The 24-year-old will have one fewer event to play in as the Indonesia BA (PBSI) have decided to cancel the lower-ranked Indonesian Masters, slated for Sept 29-Oct 4, and focus instead on running the higher-ranked Indonesian Open that week.

With the event off, Joo Ven is in danger of slipping down the rankings as he will not be able to defend the points earned from last year’s Indonesian Masters where he was the semi-finalist.

The result marked one of his best outings in 2019 alongside his victory at the Malaysian International Series.

The Malaysian International Series, scheduled for June 16-21, is one of many events suspended indefinitely by the BWF from mid-March until August.

It has certainly been a tough start for Joo Ven who started his professional career after being dropped from the national team in January.

But he’s taking it all in his stride.

“It was surely not the best time to come out as independent, but that’s how it is, ” said Joo Ven.

“This global pandemic is beyond my control, all I can do is to stay positive, healthy and fit and be ready to come back when the circuit eventually returns.

“I’m not going to be too worried about world rankings.

“If you play well enough and get good results, everything will fall into place.”

PBSI had initially intended to move the US$90,000 (RM392,000) Masters to a later date to pave the way for Indonesian Open, the second richest tournament of the year carrying a whopping US$1.35mil (RM5.88mil) prize purse.

Last week, PBSI submitted a request to Badminton World Federtion (BWF) to call off the Masters, a request that is likely to be approved.

Despite being unable to defend the points, Joo Ven’s current position at No. 67, which places him as the third highest-ranked Malaysian behind Lee Zii Jia (No. 10) and Liew Daren (No. 41), is safe for now.

BWF have frozen world rankings since last month.

Before the movement control order, Joo Ven played two tournaments in January.

He failed to make it into the main draw of the Malaysian Masters but made amends later by reaching the last 16 of the Thailand Masters.

Joo Ven had entered his name for the Lingshui China Masters, Orleans Masters in France and Finnish Open but all did not take place due to the pandemic. China Masters, Orleans Masters in France and Finnish Open but all did not take place due to the pandemic.

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