PETALING JAYA: The Year of the Dragon didn’t start well for Ng Tze Yong but the shuttler hopes that it will get better and also help him to qualify for the Paris Olympics.
Tze Yong, born in 2000, was gaining momentum to make his maiden appearance for the 2024 Paris but a back injury in the first round of the Malaysian Open last month has cast some doubts.
However, his recovery has been swift and he will be playing at the Asia Team Championships at the Setia City Convention Centre from Feb 13-18.
“My only wish for the Year of the Dragon is to avoid further injuries. The year didn’t start the way I wanted but I’m getting better and hope to have good start at the Asia Team,” said Tze Yong.
“Although I missed a few tournaments due to injury, there are still several tournaments left to play in the Olympic qualifying race. I still believe I have a chance to make it (to the 2024 Paris).”
World No. 15 Tze Yong will use the short break, that started after the morning training session in Bukit Kiara yesterday, to be with his family in Johor Baru as he has not returned for the CNY celebration over the last three years.
“I haven’t celebrated the Chinese New Year with my family for several years but I will cherish the short break,” added Tze Yong.
“Training for the Asia Team resumes on Sunday (tomorrow) but the family time is good enough for me get recharged. Just being at home for a short while is just fine with me.”
However, Tze Yong’s focus will be on the European tournaments beginning with the super 300 German Open in Mulheim from Feb 27-March 3.
He should also play in the French Open, an Olympic test tournament in Paris from March 5-10 and All-England (March 12-17) to further strengthen his position in the top 16.
A country is allowed a maximum of two players in the Olympics if they remain in the top 16 when they Olympic qualifying period concludes at the end of April.
World No. 10 Lee Zii Jia is in prime position to claim a spot while Tze Yong can join him if he does well in the European meets.