Ken Yon to take on seniors, in line for world junior c’ships

Happy ending: Ong Ken Yon finished the five-day junior tournament with two more victories.

PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Ong Ken Yon could have just landed not one but two rewards after securing a top-three finish in the just-concluded round-robin stage of the 100PLUS National Junior Ranking Challenge.

The 18-year-old Ken Yon finished the five-day competition in style, notching two more wins over Ong Zhen Yi and Anson Cheong to finish third behind Group A winner Justin Hoh and second-placed Jacky Kok at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara yesterday.

The trio’s efforts won them a showdown against selected seniors which is slated for Nov 3-6 at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM).

Ken Yon will now join Justin and Jacky as the frontrunners for the three tickets to the World Junior Championships (WJC) in New Zealand next January.

Ken Yon will be hoping that he has done enough to impress the selectors after missing out on last year’s team selection to Kazan, Russia.

Ken Yon was overlooked despite being the only boys’ singles winner on the international circuit following his triumph at the Indian Junior International.

It will be now or never for Ken Yon to make his WJC appearance as he will be overaged for the next edition.

“I’m not thinking that far yet (about WJC). All I need to do is continue to give my best at every opportunity and leave it to the coaches to judge, ” said Ken Yon, who won the National Under-18 title in February.

“Of course, if I get picked then I’d be very pleased because it gives me a good chance to gauge my level against the world’s top juniors. As much as we want to play, we don’t know if it will be held in January because of the Covid-19.

“Regardless, I won’t be losing sleep about missing out. My main target is to win a major title such as the World Championships in the future.”

In yesterday’s opening game, Ken Yon raised his game after losing 19-21 to outplay Zhen Yi 21-16,21-5 for his sixth win. Had Ken Yon lost, the outcome could have been different because Zhen Yi trailed him by just one point prior to their match.

Ken Yon wrapped up his campaign with a 21-16,21-12 win over winless Anson.

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