Jacky left wondering after French wonderkid denies him title in Estonia


Rookie Jacky Kok was in full enthusiasm during his day of training with the national team last Monday.

PETALING JAYA: Back-up shuttler Jacky Kok has come up just short in his bid to land a maiden senior title after finishing second in the eighth-tier Estonian International.

The 20-year-old Jacky went down 20-22, 15-21 to French wonderkid Alex Lanier in the men’s singles final at the Kalev Sports Halll in Tallinn yesterday.

Despite losing to a 16-year-old opponent, the result isn’t as bad as it appeared for the world No. 513 Jacky, who is competing in only his fourth senior tournament.

World No. 151 Lanier, on the other hand, is more experienced.

He is the reigning European Under-17 champion and played for France in the Thomas Cup Finals last October, where he nearly shocked world No. 11 Rasmus Gemke of Denmark in front of their home fans before going down 15-21, 21-16, 20-22.

The title in Estonia was his third, having won the Lithuanian International and Italian International which he bagged in June and December last year.

Jacky, who’s still under probation after being promoted to the senior squad last year, made the Latvian International semi-finals for his best result in the three back-to-back tournaments in between August and September.

Jacky could be affected by fatigue as the final against Lanier yesterday was his eighth match in a short period of four days as he had to come through the qualifiers.

Unlike Jacky, his teammates Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar and Lee Shun Yang were early-round casualties.

Shun Yang was beaten in the second round by Finland’s Joakim Oldorff while Shaqeem failed to even make the main draw.

Ong Ken Yon was the other player in the fray, reaching the second round before losing to home favourite and top seed Raul Must.

In the men’s doubles, two pairs - Nurfirdaus Azman-Jimmy Wong and Lwi Sheng Hao-Loo Bing Kun lost in the semi-finals on Saturday.

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