Soong can’t tune up – Joo Ven forced to skip back-to-back tourneys

PETALING JAYA: Soong Joo Ven’s aim of breaking into the world’s top 32 has hit a snag as the left-handed shuttler has been forced to withdraw from back-to-back tournaments in Indonesia.

He will skip the Indonesia International Challenge, which begins in Malang today, and the Indonesia Masters next week, due to a knee injury.

Joo Ven also had to withdraw from the Indian International Challenge and the Vietnam Open last month due to his condition.

The independent player suffered the injury in unusual circumstances – during a physiotherapy session four weeks ago by a part-time physiotherapist.

“I’ve suffered a light cartilage damage in my knee and I’m undergoing rehab at the moment. I can’t compete in any tournaments yet. I have missed four tournaments now and it has been frustrating,” said Joo Ven, who is currently ranked 52nd in the world.

“By breaking into the top 32, I was hoping to avoid playing in the qualifying rounds of the World Tour events and also qualify directly for the bigger events.

“The only consolation is that the injury is not very serious and I need to rest and continue with my rehabilitation for another two weeks before returning to training.”

Joo Ven is optimistic about returning for the Australian Open from Nov 15-20 and several other tournaments in December to start pushing for a place in the top 32.

Other independent players like Cheam June Wei, Goh Jin Wei and Soniia Cheah, who are attached with Sports Affairs club, will be competing at the Indonesia International Challenge.

Jin Wei, who finished runner-up at the Vietnam Open two weeks ago, will be in search of her elusive Open title while Soniia is also on the comeback trail after a long layoff due to injuries.

All three players also played at the Purple League which concluded on Sunday.

June Wei will also be aiming for a better show in Malang after losing in the semi-finals of the Vietnam Open.

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