Speedy progress shows Justin’s catching up fast with seniors

PETALING JAYA: National men’s singles shuttler Justin Hoh is on a mission to close the gap on his seniors after progressing rapidly in the past two months.

Justin, who only joined the senior squad last November, has rose from No. 140 to No. 113 in the latest world rankings after finishing runners-up in the recent Iran International Challenge in Teheran.

The 18-year-old came close to capturing the title before going down 21-18, 12-21, 20-22 to Indonesia’s Syabda Perkasa in a thrilling final.

Although Justin missed out on his first title of the year, he remained positive after progressing well since joining the senior squad.

The youngster had captured the Malaysian International Challenge last December and reached the semi-finals of the Estonian International last month.

“I’m satisfied with my development so far since joining the senior ranks,” said Justin.

“I think I’m growing and improving day by day and learning from my seniors, who are more experienced at the highest level.

“For now, I’m aiming to keep playing my best badminton and close the gap on my seniors.’’

On his performance in Iran, Justin said: “My overall performance was quite good but at the end of the match against Syabda, I was a bit unlucky.

“Syabda is more experienced than me and handled the crucial moments better.

“It was still a good opportunity for me to play against him.

“Moving forward, I think I need to be more patient and have more stability in my game to handle the situation during the last few points better.”

Justin, who will turn 19 in April, had earlier set a target of breaking into the world’s top 100 by the halfway stage of this year but now looks well on course to achieve this much faster.

“I will achieve my target of breaking into the top 100 during my next tournament - the Uganda International Challenge from Feb 22-26.

“Now, I want to climb up the rankings as fast as possible to qualify for World Tour events.”

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