KUALA LUMPUR: Lim Chong King, the fifth-ranked men’s singles shuttler in the national team, does not look like a frontrunner for the Thomas Cup Finals berth. But the 20-year-old has vowed to fight tooth-and-nail to get his spot in the squad.
There are only four coveted spots in the team to the Aarhus Finals from Oct 3-11 and Chong King does not only have his teammates as rivals, he also needs to get the better of two independent players – Liew Daren and Soong Joo Ven.
But until the team list is finalised, Chong King will continue to fight.
He believes he still has a chance of earning a surprise call-up by finishing among the top four in the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Invitational Championships which kicked off at the Academy Badminton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
As a favourite in Division Two, Chong King lived up to expectations by winning his two opening matches to top the six-man round-robin contest with four points.
Chong King, the Hellas Open winner in Greece last year, brushed aside Low Eu Cong 21-15,21-14 before beating Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar 19-21,21-15,21-14 for his second victory of the day.
“The goal is to get to Division One first. If I can do that, my next target would be to finish in the top four, ” said Chong King, who was part of the silver medal winning side at the Philippines SEA Games last year.
Chong King was pleased to have finally made his first competitive appearance in nearly eight months. He was not part of the Asia Team Championships squad that qualified for the final in Manila in February.
“It took me a while to get my competitive juices flowing again, ” said Chong King, who last played at the Bangladesh International last December.
“I was probably playing at just 80% of my capacity, I think I’ll improve gradually. It really feels good to be playing competitive matches again, although it’s just an internal tournament.
“Competing and training are totally different. When playing matches, you have to control your emotions well and be more focused. You won’t get all that in training.”
Another senior member Leong Jun Hao also got off to a perfect start, but not before hard-fought battles against Ter Chun Long and Low Eu Cong.
Jun Hao defeated Chun Long 20-22,21-16,21-14 and Eu Cong 23-21,22-20 to tie with Chong King at the top spot of the six-man standings with four points. The two are tipped to make it to Division One.
Men’s singles: Leong Jun Hao bt Ter Chun Long 20-22,21-16,21-14; Lim Chong King bt Low Eu Cong 21-15,21-14; Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar bt Wyman Goh 18-21,21-9,21-17; Leong Jun Hao bt Low Eu Cong 23-21,22-20; Lim Chong King bt Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar 19-21,21-15,21-14; Wyman Goh bt Ter Chun Long 22-20,21-16.
Standings: 1. Leong Jun Hao and Lim Chong King 4pts; 3. Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar and Wyman Goh 2; 5. Low Eu Cong and Ter Chun Long 0.
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful