KUALA LUMPUR: National shuttlers Leong Jun Hao (pix) and Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin are busy polishing up their game in a bid to vie for the men’s singles title in the Malaysia International Challenge 2022 at Arena Badminton Perak in Ipoh from Dec 13-18.
Jun Hao, 23, admitted that he can’t wait for the tournament to begin as he’s still buzzing from winning the Indonesia Masters 2022 in October.
“Although I started the season shakily, I ended it in a much better position, especially after winning in Malang, Indonesia. That win has boosted my confidence to play in Ipoh and I hope to do my best.
“Each opponent has his own style of play, so I have to be prepared physically and mentally no matter who I play,” he told reporters after a training session at the Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM) here today.
Twenty-two-year-old Aidil Sholeh, meanwhile, is confident that the support and encouragement from his family is just the catalyst he needs to continue to prove himself in front of the home fans.
“I am more confident because my family always motivates me and I will try to do my best. However, I am not sure if my family will be in Ipoh because they usually like to drop by unannounced to give me a pleasant surprise and support me,” he said.
The 11th-seeded Aidil Sholeh is also confident that he will be able to give seventh-seeded Jun Hao a run for his money should their paths cross at any stage in the Malaysia International Challenge 2022.
With his preparations 90 per cent complete, Aidil Sholeh feels that he is ready to up his game after being used as a sparring partner for Jun Hao during the national team training sessions.
“I am targeting a semi-final appearance but I don’t want to put pressure on myself. So, I will take it one round at a time. But, if I were to meet him (Jun Hao), I will fight till I drop because I have been training with him and I know his style of play,” said Aidil Sholeh.
In the Malaysian International Challenge 2019, national shuttler Cheam June Wei defeated China’s Bo Ren Peng in the men’s singles final. - Bernama