KUALA LUMPUR: Former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli suffered a humiliating defeat to youngster Leong Jun Hao in the opening round of the Thailand Masters today.
Jun Hao, 19, upset the far more experienced Zulfadli 24-22, 21-19 in a match that lasted close to an hour in Bangkok.
Zulfadli's defeat only proved that the BA of Malaysia's (BAM) made the right decision to leave him out of the Asia Team Championships in Alor Star next month.
It also showed how far or how little Zulfadli has progressed over the years being a professional shuttler.
For Jun Hao, who is also the 2017 World Junior Championships runner-up, the win against Zulfadli is surely a boost for the shuttler who will play Indonesia's Firman Abdul Kholik in the second round tomorrow.
“I was calm and patient. I only attacked when I saw a clear chance. What's certain is that the win today definitely boosted my confidence, as I had to go through the qualifying rounds.
"I've played Firman before at the Malaysia International Challenge (November). Even though I won then, I don't want to take things lightly against him.
"My target is to go as far as I can in this tournament," said Jun Hao, who finished second at the Malaysia International Challenge.
National women's singles Soniia Cheah also reached the second round of the competition following a 21-12, 21-14 win over Thailand's Mattana Hemrachatanun. Soniia will play Thailand’s Thamolwan Poopradubsil next for a place in the quarter-finals.
In men's doubles, reunited duo Goh V shem-Tan Wee Kiong, playing together for the first time in four months, barely broke a sweat when they chalked up a 21-6, 21-16 win over India's Kapil Chaudhary-Brijesh Yadav in the first round.
The 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medallists will play Hong Kong's Lam Wai Lok-Li Kuen Hon next.
National teammates Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, women's doubles Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean and mixed doubles Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei all recorded wins to reach the second round today.
Translated from Berita