Friday February 15, 2013
Joo Ven wants to end junior career with a bang
KUALA LUMPUR: Youngster Soong Joo Ven wants to make this the best year of his junior career.
As such, the No. 1 boysí singles shuttler is hoping to strike it right at the Asian Junior Championships and the World Junior Championships (Bangkok, Oct 23-Nov 2). The venue and dates for the Asian junior meet have yet to be announced.
After experiencing mixed fortunes last year, a wiser Joo Ven is ready to end his junior days with a bang.
Last year, he emerged as runner-up in the Asian meet but played below par to lose in the early rounds of the world juniors.
ďIíve learnt a lot last year and the experience gained will help me to be more prepared this time. My main focus is on these two important junior events and my motivation is to become the second player after Zulfadli Zulkifli to be a world junior champion,Ē said the 18-year-old Joo Ven.
Zulfadli became the countryís first world junior champion in 2010.
But first, Joo Ven wants to go one step better in the upcoming junior events in Europe.
He will compete in the back-to-back German Junior (Feb 26-March 3) and Dutch Junior (March 5-10) championships.
ďIím the defending champion for the Dutch Junior but this time Iíll try to win both tournaments. It wonít be easy, though. Thailand are sending their top junior squad and several European countries like England, Russia and Denmark also have good players,Ē said Joo Ven.
ďIíll have to tread with caution and not be over-confident. Iíve just returned from celebrating Chinese New Year with my family ... hopefully, Iíll be able to increase the intensity of my training next week.Ē
Joo Ven had started the year on a good note, nailing two silver medals Ė in the boysí singles and team event Ė in the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney last month.
Now, more is expected of him.
While Joo Ven is determined to make his final junior year a memorable one, he has no plans to take it easy in the senior events either.
ďIíll still compete in some senior tournaments and, hopefully, break into the top 100 by the end of the year. My mission this year is to upset one or two established players in the world. Thatíll be a good start,Ē said the world No. 170 who trains under Zhou Kejian.