Choong Hann: Time for Tze Yong to gear up for ‘big boys’ test

PETALING JAYA: National singles coaching director Wong Choong Hann, while complimenting Ng Tze Yong for winning the Bahrain International Challenge title, wants the shuttler to be prepared to cross swords with the big boys of the game beginning next year.

Tze Yong, currently ranked 27th in the world, was entered for the Bahrain event particularly to safeguard his ranking in the top 30 so that he can continue playing in the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) super 1000 tournaments which attract almost all the top 10 men’s singles players.

Tze Yong, who defeated Taiwan’s Kuo Kuan-lin 21-15, 20-22, 21-12 in the final on Sunday, was in danger of missing the Malaysian Open but managed to squeeze in after his semi-final appearance at the Australian Open in Sydney three weeks ago.

Choong Hann said the intensity level of the top players were different and Tze Yong, 22, needs to get used to that.

“It’s (Bahrain IC) definitely a morale booster for him. Tze Yong will now be able to cross paths more frequently with the best players on the BWF tour, which will help him grow faster (as an international player),” said Choong Hann.

“He will get to play in the bigger tournaments after this and the intensity level will also be high.

“So, he needs to be prepared mentally for the hard challenges starting next year, persevere and overcome them.”

Tze Yong’s silver medal effort in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in August was expected to propel the Johor Baru-born shuttler into a global star at a quicker pace but his career did not take off swiftly.

Instead of building on the success and win his first world tour title, Tze Yong started stumbling in the preliminary rounds and the Australian Open, a super 300 event, had been his best effort.

Looking at his struggle, Choong Hann and Hendrawan had identified his physical frailties and was put under tougher weight training sessions to strengthen his leg muscles.

It did not bring about the desired results right away but Tze Yong has been showing signs of being a more solid player physically.

The Malaysian Open will be an ideal avenue to gauge his recent progress but hopes are high that he may not be shown an early exit at the Axiata Arena next month.

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