PETALING JAYA: National men’s singles shuttler Cheam June Wei wants to build on his best result in four years in the recent Vietnam Open as he gears up for two back-to-back tournaments in Indonesia.
The independent player reached his first World Tour semi-final in Vietnam last week since capturing the Dutch Open in 2018 and wants to continue his promising form in the Indonesian International Challenge (Oct 11-16) and Indonesian Masters (Oct 18-23).
“Reaching the semi-finals of the Vietnam Open has given me some confidence as it was my first last-four finish in a World Tour event since 2018,” June Wei said.
“I really want to continue this momentum in my next two tournaments in Indonesia.
“I’m not setting any specific targets for myself but just want to stay focused and keep improving myself,” added June Wei, who is currently ranked 64th in the world.
He knows that he still has a lot of work ahead after losing out to China’s Sun Feixiang 11-21, 17-21 in the last four in Vietnam.
The 25-year-old, though, is feeling upbeat after overcoming a tumultuous period since the end of last year when he left the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in an effort to resurrect his career.
“Right after leaving BAM, I was really stressed and worried, thinking about my career and my finances. I had to get my own sponsors and this was not easy. For six months, I went through a tough time.
“But now, I feel settled and happy with where I am,” said June Wei, who trains under Indonesian coach Nova Armada at Sports Affairs.
The others training with June Wei are Soong Joo Ven and women’s singles player Goh Jin Wei.
June Wei also credited Nova for his recent upturn in form.
“My coach helps me a lot, not just in training but outside the court as well. He gives me a lot of advice and I am thankful to him and Sports Affairs as well for supporting me,” said June Wei.
He is now looking to be in the best shape possible ahead of a hectic schedule next year.
“There will be lots of tournaments next year and I want to prepare myself well. My aim is to break into the top 32 next year. This will make me eligible to play in higher-tier World Tour competitions,” said June Wei.
The 25-year-old is currently representing Petaling Badminton Club in the Purple League and propelled his team to the semi-finals on Wednesday.
June Wei overcame Candra Wijaya International Badminton Centre’s Enzi Shafira 11-9, 10-11, 11-6, 6-11, 7-2 in the final Group A match.
Petaling Badminton Club beat Candra Wijaya International Badminton Centre 14-10
Men’s singles 1: Cheam June Wei bt Enzi Shafira 11-9, 10-11, 11-6, 6-11, 7-2.
Women’s singles: Pai Yu-po lost to Ruselli Hartawan 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 4-6.
Men’s doubles: Goh V Shem-Low Juan Shen bt Gabriel Wijaya-Galuh Putra 11-6, 10-11, 11-2, 11-8.
Mixed doubles: Ng Eng Cheong-Lai Pei Jing bt Hafiz Faizal-Serena Kani 7-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-10, 9-8.
Men’s singles 2: Brice Leverdez bt Tommy Sugiarto 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 6-11, 9-8.