Ambitious Justin aiming high

Shuttler Justin Hoh has two missions this year.

The 18-year-old not only wants to become a world junior champion but also crack the top 200 of the senior men’s singles world rankings.

Justin hopes to succeed as he wants to impress selectors from the BA of Malaysia for a spot in the national senior team next year.

On Sunday, Justin, the World No 727, took his first baby steps towards that goal by winning the eighth-tier Bonn International in Germany for his first senior title.

He completed his remarkable run by outplaying world No 359 Yang Su Li of Taiwan 21-19, 21-17 in the final. It was Justin’s fourth appearance in a senior international tournament.

The shuttler is expected to break into the world’s top 500 today.

Justin had cleared a three-match qualifier in 24 hours before defeating formidable opponents en route to his title.

His most memorable win was perhaps against Taiwan’s world No 100 and second seed Lee Chia Hao in the second round.

Justin’s win over Chia Hao helped salvage Malaysia’s battered pride. Chia Hao had defeated national senior players Leong Jun Hao, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin and Lim Chong King earlier this year.

Justin is determined to build on his breakthrough by adding another win at the Croatia Open, a Future Series meet, which started in Dubrovnik yesterday.

“Hopefully, winning this first senior title will mark the start of my journey to becoming a world-class player,” said Justin, who is preparing for the World Junior Championships in Spain from Oct 17-30.

“The confidence boost I have gotten from Bonn is massive.

“I want to win more titles so that I can improve my world ranking.

“The target is the top-200 by year-end.”

If Justin wins in Croatia, he will likely break into the top 400.

In last week’s Croatia Junior Open, Malaysia’s Jan Jireh Lee, Ong Xin Yee and Carmen Ting emerged as the best performers by reaching the semi-finals of their respective events after losing to Japanese opponents.

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