Ewe Hock keeps June Wei’s spirits up after shock first-round loss

PETALING JAYA: Former international Ong Ewe Hock believes that all is not lost for Cheam June Wei (pic) just yet despite seeing the latter suffer a shock first-round exit in the German Open.

World No. 62 June Wei, who was Malaysia’s sole representative in the men’s singles in the tournament in the absence of the injured Ng Tze Yong, surprisingly went down 19-21, 14-21 to Frenchman Lucas Claerbout in Mulheim on Wednesday.

It was the 27-year-old’s second consecutive defeat to the world No. 87 after also losing to him in the Syed Modi International in 2022.

It was a disappointing showing from June Wei after he had shown signs of improvement towards the end of last year.

He reached the semi-finals of the Indian Masters last December after going through a tough period where he lost his sponsorship with Fusionex and left Sports Affairs to train under Ewe Hock in his club, Serdang BC.

Ewe Hock, who helped June Wei get back on his feet by arranging a new sponsorship with RedOne for the latter, is not about to give up on him.

“I think June Wei is still doing alright despite the defeat to Claerbout,” said Ewe Hock.

“I hope he can perform better in his next tournament. He needs to have a winning mentality to succeed.”

June Wei will next compete in the Swiss Open from March 19-24 in Basel where he will open his campaign against Belgium’s Julien Carraggi in the first qualifying round.

Meanwhile, independent mixed doubles pairs Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing made it into the second round in contrasting fashion.

The former brushed past India’s S. Ashith-P. Amrutha 21-12, 21-11 while the latter survived a scare before beating England’s Gregory Mairs-Jenny Mairs 24-22, 20-22, 21-19.

Soon Huat-Shevon will next face Singapore’s husband and wife pairing, Terry Hee-Jessica Tan while Kian Meng-Pei Jing will take on Indonesia’s Rinov Rivaldy-Pitha Haningtyas.

First round

(Malaysians only)

Men’s singles: Lucas Claerbout (Fra) bt Cheam June Wei 21-19, 21-14.

Mixed doubles: Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie bt S. Ashith-P. Amrutha (Ind) 21-12, 21-11; Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing bt Gregory Mairs-Jenny Mairs (Eng) 24-22, 20-22, 21-19.

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