Thursday March 21, 2013
Daren undeterred by early defeats in All-England and Swiss Open
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
SURABAYA: National elite shuttler Liew Daren believes he is ready to lead Malaysia’s charge in the US$1mil Axiata Cup despite his recent shaky form.
The 25-year-old Daren played in the recent All-England and Swiss Open but crashed out in the early rounds.
And it has seen him drop three rungs from a career high 10th to 13th in the world rankings.
But Daren believes that every player has his ups and downs and his recent form is nothing to worry about.
“Actually I played fairly well at the All-England despite losing but I really fared badly at the Swiss Open,” said Daren.
“But even the best players have their off days and that result is just a small hiccup. I’m still riding high on confidence and one bad performance will not affect me that much.
“Most importantly though, I’m definitely ready for the Axiata Cup challenge and I’m ready to show my capabilities in a team event. There are a lot of good players in the fray and it has made the competition very interesting.”
“The only thing that I worry about is the lack of rest, and the possibility of feeling jet-lagged because the timing isn’t the best,” added Daren.
Malaysia will play four matches in Surabaya, first against the Philippines today, followed by Thailand, hosts Indonesia and then the Europe All Stars.
While Malaysia are almost certain to score a convincing win over the Filipinos, they will need Daren and fellow singles shuttler Chong Wei Feng to be at their best against Thailand and Indonesia if they hope to return with good results from the first leg.
Thailand will boast having veteran Boonsak Ponsana in their ranks as well as the on-form Tanongsak Saemsomboonsuk, who made the semi-finals of the All-England earlier this month.
Indonesia though will have to pick between four equally dangerous shuttlers – Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Simon Santoso, Tommy Sugiarto and Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka for their singles tie.
Besides Daren and Wei Feng, Malaysia can also count on world No. 2 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in the men’s doubles and world No. 5 Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying in the mixed doubles.
Women’s singles shuttler Tee Jing Yi and Lim Yin Loo, who is the backup player in the mixed doubles, are the other members in the team.