Joo Ven’s livelihood affected by cancellation of tournaments

PETALING JAYA: Independent shuttler Soong Joo Ven (pic) is keeping his fingers crossed that the Taiwan Open from Sept 7-12 will not get the chop.

The 26-year-old has turned his attention to the meet in Taipei City after his initial plan to participate in the Korean Open (Aug 31-Sept 5) failed to materialise when the event was cancelled yesterday.

His decision to sign up for both events despite knowing that he could only make it to one due to strict Covid-19 protocols turned out to be a wise move.

“Yes, I will compete in Taipei but of course it all depends on whether it can go ahead,” said Joo Ven.

“I don’t think we can be certain about anything nowadays.

“For instance, when I entered my name for these two tournaments, I thought Taiwan will most likely be called off.”

Like many other lower-ranked players in Asia, the world No. 74 found his livelihood affected by the lack of tournaments in this region.

Joo Ven has only managed to compete in two tournaments thus far – the Swiss Open and Orleans Masters in France in March.

He was supposed to make another trip to Europe for the Spain Masters in May, only to pull out at the eleventh hour due to financial issues.

“In the event Taiwan Open is not happening, I don’t know when I will get to compete again as the Macau Open (Nov 2-7) has been called off too,” lamented Joo Ven.

“There are of course the Denmark and French Opens in October, but these are higher tier tournaments. All the top players will be in attendance with their respective national teams for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals (in Denmark) and Sudirman Cup (in Finland).

“So what’s left for us? Not much as tournaments are almost non-existent in Asia.”

The other independents who have signed up for the Taiwan Open are Liew Daren (men’s singles), Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie (mixed doubles) and the new men’s doubles combination of Goh V Shem-Low Juan Shen.

The cancellation of the Korean Open also meant that some of the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s back-up shuttlers will have to wait longer for action.

They are Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong, Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun and Chang Yee Jun-Chia Wei Jie (men’s doubles); Yap Ling-Teoh Mei Xing, Yap Cheng Wen-Anna Cheong (women’s doubles); Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See, Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei (mixed doubles).

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