BATC 2024: Jun Hao shocked when told to play 1st singles against China on morning of the match

SHAH ALAM, Feb 18: National men’s singles shuttler Leong Jun Hao admitted to being shocked when told that he would play at first singles against China in the final of the Badminton Asia Team Championships 2024 at the Setia City Convention Centre here today.

World number 38 Jun Hao also admitted to being distraught after his errors at crucial points that led to his 19-21, 17-21 loss to Weng Hong Yang.

The men’s team failed to defend the BATC title when they lost to 0-3 to China, with 2022 world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik going down fighting 16-21, 21-16, 21-23 to Xie Hao Nan-Zheng Wei Han and world number 298 Eogene Ewe succumbing 10-21, 14-21 to Lei Lan Xi.

“Only this morning (I was told that I would play at first singles). It was hard going in as the first (player)… (but I was still) prepared, although initially shocked.

“…made some mistakes at crucial points. I hope to learn from this tournament and be more confident and consistent next time,” Jun Hao told reporters here today.

The coaches, it was learnt, decided to field Jun Hao at first singles after the two singles aces, Lee Zii Jia (sinus) and Ng Tze Yong (back injury) were rested due to breathing difficulties.