Unwell Tze Yong perseveres for Sukma gold

KUALA LUMPUR – Despite not feeling well, Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, Ng Tze Yong lived up to his billing to clinch the men’s singles badminton gold in the 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma) here today.

The top seed who represented Johor bounced back from a set down to defeat 2017 Asian Junior champion, Leong Jun Hao of Wilayah Persekutuan 18-21, 21-19, 21-12 in a marathon match lasting 80 minutes at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil.

The 22-year-old shuttler who is making his second appearance in Sukma said he was elated to contribute a medal to his birth state despite being slightly under the weather.

“Not feeling well, had a slight cough but that is not the excuse not to give my best. I am grateful to be able to contribute to the Johor team.

“I could feel the hectic pace set by him (Jun Hao) in the first two sets while in the rubber set he slowed down but I kept my speed and I think this is the crucial point why I won this match,” he said when met by reporters here today.

Tze Yong’S victory today saw him improving his foray in Sukma after being eliminated by Tan Jia Wei of Penang in the second round in the Perak edition in 2018.

In this regard, Tze Yong said he would be participating in the Indonesia Masters from Oct 18 to 23 but did not put any target in the tournament.

Meanwhile, national women’s singles player, Siti Nurshuhaini Azman of Selangor easily disposed of compatriot K. Lethsanaa, 21-19, 21-9, to deliver a gold medal for Selangor.

The third seed appeared choked with emotion after clinching the winning point as she said she had not won any title before.

“After this, I will focus on the World Junior Championship in Spain (Oct 24-30) and I hope to put my best performance at the championship as I learn the players from Indonesia and Thailand are really formidable,” she said. – Bernama