Angus finally finds form, but it’s just too little too late


Quick tips: Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long listening to his coach Wong Choong Hann.

KUALA LUMPUR: Hong Kong shuttler Angus Ng Ka Long is feeling a tinge of regret that his sudden burst in form came a little too late.

He had failed to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games as he had not accumulated enough points before the qualifying ended at the end of April. In fact,

he suffered early-round exits in 21 out of 25 tournaments throughout the qualification period.

However, the world No. 24 Angus finished runner-up in the Thailand Open last week and claimed scalps of Olympic-bound shuttlers to check into the semi-finals of the Malaysian Masters yesterday.

Angus booked his spot in the last four after ousting world No. 6 Li Shifeng of China 21-13, 21-15 in the quarter-finals at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

Earlier, Angus also defeated his teammate and world No. 17 Lee Cheuk Yiu 21-19, 21-17 in the second round.

Had his form come earlier, Angus could have earned his qualification for the Paris Games.

“I do have some of these thoughts but I can only lament that my form came a bit late,” said Angus, who will be turning 30 next month.

“But it’s okay... even though I’m already 30, I still have a long road ahead.

“I have been having one of the most satisfying run this past two weeks and I hope it continues for as long as possible.

“Asian Games and All-England champion Shifeng is one of the top players and beating him in straight sets is a breakthrough for me.

“My form may have come a little late but if I can continue to maintain it in the future, I am still very confident about my career.”

Angus faces another challenging assignment as he goes up against world No. 10 Lee Zii Jia in the last four today.

Despite their head-to-head record being even at 4-4, the Malaysian holds a slight edge, having triumphed in their last three meetings – Indonesian Masters in January, Thailand Open (last week) and 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games.

“We just played each other last week, so we understand each other’s game quite well,” said Angus.

“I lost to him last week, so I hope that I can perform better this time and approach the match with a competitive mindset. Even though I am older, I will try not to dwell on my age or experience and set aside my pride throughout the match.”

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