Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Kwong Beng out to make the cut for SEA Games squad

Kwong Beng: Has been drawn to play Lim Fang Yang in the first round of the Kedah Open.
KUALA LUMPUR: Driven by a hope to make the SEA Games squad for the first time, back-up shuttler Chan Kwong Beng is all fired up to go the distance in local and international tournaments this month.

For now, only senior Kuan Beng Hong and back-up shuttler Tan Chun Seang have been named for the Games in Korat in December.

Malaysia have opted to field a team of second stringers in the biennial Games and the Project 2010-2012 squad's chief coach Rashid Sidek will identify two more back-up singles players based on their performances in several tournaments in September.

The 19-year-old Kwong Beng will set out on the mission to impress the selectors in the Kedah Open, which begins tomorrow in Alor Star. He will also feature in the Japan Open (Sept 11-16) and Taiwan Open (Sept 18-23).

Kwong Beng, who has showed good progress since coming under the charge of Misbun Sidek in March, said that he has now been presented with opportunities to earn a place in the squad for the SEA Games.

“At the start of the year, I would not even dream of getting shots at making the team. There are chances now and I hope to make good,” said Kwong Beng.

“Some of the other back-up players are also as determined as I am. It will not be easy. Misbun has challenged me to sustain good performances in tournaments and I will do my best.”

In the Kedah Open, Kwong Beng has been drawn to meet Lim Fang Yang in the first round. Victory will probably give him a match against second seed Mohd Hafiz Hashim.

“It will be tough from the first round,” said Kwong Beng, who has yet to reach the quarter-finals of a local Open tournament.

In the Japan Open, he has to play in the qualifying tournament. The draw for the Taiwan Open will be released today and the world number 136 is likely to go through the qualifying rounds too.

His best thus far in an international Open tournament was a third round appearance in the Philippines Open this year and he defeated Singaporean Kendrick Lee in the first round.

Besides Kwong Beng, the other singles players in the fight to get into the squad for the SEA Games are Asian Junior runner-up Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Lim Kenn, Chong Wei Feng, Liew Daren and Beryno Wong.

The Star

No comments: