KUALA LUMPUR: Ter Chun Long’s name does not ring a bell for Malaysians. It’s no surprise then that it raised eyebrows when he was listed in the national badminton men’s singles department roster.
But remember his name. He could soon make a name for himself.
The 18-year-old nearly shocked his senior teammate Leong Jun Hao before going down to the former Asian junior champion 22-20,16-21,14-21 in 56 minutes in the BAM Invitational Championships yesterday.
Chun Long’s spirited display proved just why he caught the eye of men’s singles head coach Hendrawan who has given him a six-month probation with the national team.
Chun Long, a Selangor state player, was one of two players who produced standout performances in the selection trial. The other was Penang’s Low Eu Cong.
The duo joined Wyman Goh, Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar and Lee Shun Yang, who were promoted from the national junior squad last December.
Unfortunately, none of them have been able to play in any tournament due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Their probation period has been extended until the end of the year and Chun Long knows he has to take every chance he gets.
The fact that he almost took down Jun Hao, last year’s National Championship’s runner-up, showed that he is ready to make his presence felt.
After winning the opening game, Chun Long headed into the interval in the second with a 11-7 advantage.
“I thought I could pull off an upset but a change of tactics by Jun Hao caught me off guard. I just could not keep up with his pace. In the end, Jun Hao’s experience, mental game and skills made the difference, ” said the Klang-born lad, whose best result was reaching the quarter-finals of the National Under-21 Championships in Perak last year.
Chun Long said it was a dream come true for him to have joined the national team – although he doesn’t know what the future holds for him.
“I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s a dream come true to join the national team, even as a probationer, ” he said.
“I have improved and gained a lot of experience since training with the national team. I also think I have become a better player by training alongside the country’s best such as (Lee) Zii Jia and under coach Hendrawan.
“I have to cherish this opportunity. This internal tournament is the first stage where I get to prove myself.
“Hopefully, I’ll be able to win something in local competitions before the year ends.”
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