KUALA LUMPUR: The wait to find Lee Chong Wei’s successor could finally be over.
It is not too far-fetched to say that national youth player, Leong Jun Hao is Conh Wei in the making after the youngster proved he has the characteristics of a fighter when he booked his place in the men’s final of the Thailand Masters when he defeated home favourite Kantaphon Wangcharoen, 20-22, 21-19, 21-18 in the semi-finals in Bangkok yesterday.
What made it even sweeter was the fact that Jun Hao’s success in marching to the final is a result of the 2017 Asia Youth champion’s hard work, determination and dedication who began his challenge in the tournament from the qualifying rounds.
Prior to this Jun Hao sprang a welcome surprise when he defeated tournament fourth seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong in the quarter-finals on Friday.
The 19-year-old player who is also the 2017 World Youth runner-up, will meet second seed Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia for the Thailand Masters men’s singles title, today.
“I am preparing myself as best as I possibly can before the match. I only think about the match, that it is not an easy one and I need to fight it out for the win.
“Tired? Yes of course I am, what more since I had to begin my foray in this tournament from the qualifying rounds. But then again there is no easy way or path to achieving success, so I just have to face whatever comes my way as best as I possibly can.
“I know Tommy is a far more experienced player than I am, but I will be prepared and ready for him when we meet on court tomorrow (today),” said Jun Hao when contacted in Bangkok yesterday.
Meanwhile, national mixed doubles, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying also advanced to the final after defeating their Thai opponents, Nipitphon Phuangphuapet-Jongkolphan Kititharakul 21-15, 21-11.
In today’s final they will face yet another Thai pair in Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Puttita Supajirakul.
In other action on court, Malaysian players such as professional men’s singles player Liew Daren, women’s singles, Soniia Cheah and S. Kisona, men’s doubles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, women’s doubles, Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean along with mixed doubles, Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei all ended their respective challenges in the tournament after exiting in the semi-finals.