Shuttlers eye romantic ending in Iran after Paris training stint

PETALING JAYA: National singles coach K. Yogendran believes that his charges have what it takes to capture the Iran International Challenge title after a two-week training stint in France.

Justin Hoh, Chua Kim Sheng, Ong Zhen Yi, Rex Hooi Shao Herng and Tan Zhing Yi sparred with the French players in Paris after their Estonian International outing as part of their preparation for the Iran stint in Teheran starting today.

Malaysia received a favourable draw as there will not be an all-Malaysian clash in the early rounds.

But it will not be a walk in the park for them as top players like defending champion Meiraba Luwang Maisnam of India and Indonesia’s Syabda Perkasa Pelawa, who won two international titles last year, will also be competing.

Yogendran believes that his boys have a good chance of defying the odds to win a title if they bring their A-game.

“I would say the draw looks good because none of our players are playing against each other,’’ he said.

“So, Justin, Ong Ken Yong, Lee Shun Yan, Zhen Yi and Kim Sheng have a good chance of winning the championship this time.

“However, the competition will be tough, as top players from India and Indonesia will also be competing.”

“The most important thing is that our players can bring their A-game, try to implement everything they’ve learned in training and the results will show,” he explained.

Yogendran said it was a fruitful training stint for the younger shuttlers as they trained under different environments and learned more about the foreign players’ training routine.

“Our players learned how to adapt, warm up and get into the game as soon as possible in cold weather during the training in France. The resting period is shorter and the food is totally different, so they have to get used to these.

“There isn’t much difference between Asian and European playing styles but there are some aspects which they put a lot of emphasis onthat we don’t.

“So that’s something we learned and can put into practice when we’re back in Malaysia.

“It’s actually a significant gain for our junior shuttlers because they will know how to prepare themselves when they come to Europe for training or tournaments.’’

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