Joo Ven and Goh-Shevon storm into semi-finals


Let’s go all the way: Soong Joo Ven will play Kodai Naraoka of Japan in the semi-finals today.

PETALNG JAYA: South Korea could turn out to be a happy hunting ground for Malaysia’s independent shuttlers Soong Joo Ven and the mixed doubles pair Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie as well.

It was barely a week ago when Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing ended a five-year-title drought to win the Korean Open mixed doubles title and another successful title run for Malaysia looks increasingly brighter in the Korean Masters in Gwangju City.

Men’s singles player Joo Ven marched into the semi-finals of the Korean Masters after beating Israel player and world No. 49 Misha Zilberman 23-21, 21-18 yesterday.

It was a tightly contested match but the 26-year-old Joo Ven, was relieved to pull through at the decisive moments.

“I’m very delighted as it’s been a long time since I reached this far in a Super 300 or higher tournament.

“I was also careful not to give away easy points as my opponent has played in the Olympics twice and is also experienced,” said Joo Ven, who is ranked 68th in the world.

Joo Ven is just a step away from reaching the final if he can overcome Japan’s world No. 47 Kodai Naraoka in the semi-finals today. The Japanese shuttler beat Frenchman Lucas Claerbout 21-15, 21-17 in another quarter-final match.

Former Asian championship boys’ singles runner-up Joo Ven vowed to go all out to come out tops today.

“This is a very good chance for me to improve on my world ranking position and I will not squander this opportunity,” said Joo Ven, who will be hoping to match or improve on his only previous final appearance in the BWF World Tour back in 2018.

Then, he reached his first international final at the Hyderabad Open before losing to top seed Sameer Verma of India.

Joo Ven will also be motivated to prove a point to Badminton Association of Malaysia after he was excluded from the training squad for the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok next month despite being one of the top four ranked men’s singles shuttlers in the country.

Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin (No. 112), Leong Jun Hao (No. 121) and Ong Ken Yon (No. 281) – got the nod together with world No. 7 Lee Zii Jia, Ng Tze Yong and veteran Liew Daren.

Independent mixed doubles pair Soon Huat-Shevon also advanced to the semi-finals after beating Singapore’s Terry Hee-Tan Wei Han 21-16, 21-11.

Soon Huat-Shevon will be relieved to get the better of the married Singaporean pair, who have won three titles in the last six months.

Terry-Wei Han are coached by former Malaysian top doubles player Yap Kim Hock and were winners of the India Open and Orleans Masters this year.

Soon Huat-Shevon will face China’s Ou Xuanyi-Huang Yaqiong, who defeated Koreans Kang Min-hyuk-Baek Ha-na 21-12, 21-19 yesterday, in the semis.

QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS

MEN’S SINGLES: Soong Joo Ven (Mas) bt Misha Zilberman (Isr) 23-21, 21-18; Kodai Naraoka (Jpn) bt Lucas Claerbout (Fra) 21-15, 21-17; Sitthikom Thammasin (Tha) bt Lu Guangzu (Chn) 16-21, 21-12, 21-15; Jeon Hyeok-jin (Kor) bt Son Wan-ho (Kor) 21-3, 21-16.

MEN’S DOUBLES: Choi Sol-gyu-Kim Won-ho (Kor) bt Terry Hee-Loh Kean Hean (Sin) 21-15, 21-11; Kim Gi-jung-Kim Sa-rang (Kor) bt Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae (Kor) 21-19, 21-13; Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi (Chn) bt Ko Sung-hyun-Shin Baek-cheol (Kor) 21-17, 18-21, 21-13; Hiroki Okamura-Masayuki Onodera (Jpn) bt Mohd Shohibul Fikri-Bagas Maulana (Ina) 25-23, 19-21, 22-20.

WOMEN’S SINGLES: Chen Yufei (Chn) bt Asuka Takahashi (Jpn) 21-14, 21-10; An Se-young (Kor) bt Supanida Katethong (Tha) 21-8, 21-14; He Bingjiao (Chn) bt Lee Se-yeon (Kor) 21-9, 21-10; Wang Zhiyi (Chn) bt Yeo Jia Min (Sin) 21-13, 21-13.

WOMEN’S DOUBLES: Eom Hye-won-Kim Bo-ryeong (Kor) bt Pichamon Phatcharaphisutsin-Nannapas Sukklad (Tha) 21-10, 21-7; Baek Ha-na-Lee Yu-rim (Kor) bt Kim A-young-Kim So-jung (Kor) 21-8, 21-17; Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong (Kor) bt Chang Ye-na-Jung Kyung-eun (Kor) 21-10, retired; Du Yue-Li Wenmei (Chn) bt Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu (Chn) 21-15, 21-19.

MIXED DOUBLES: Ou Xuanyi-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) bt Kang Min-hyuk-Baek Ha-na (Kor) 21-15, 21-10; Yong Jin-Lee Yu-rim (Kor) bt Zheng Siwei-Zhang Shuxian (Chn) 21-14, 15-21, 21-18; Wang Yilyu-Huang Dongping (Chn) bt Yujiro Nishikawa-Saori Ozaki (Jpn) 21-4, 21-6; Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Jemie Lai (Mas) bt Terry Hee-Tan Wei Han (Sin) 21-16, 21-11.

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