Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
NATIONAL shuttler Jaspar Yu Woon Chai (pic) has been handed a favourable draw for the upcoming China Masters after receiving a bye in the opening round.
Yu was handed a shocker last year after he was drawn against then World No 2 Lin Dan in the first round where he lost 21-11, 21-6.
There is still a chance for him to contest against the two-time Olympic champion again at the April 18-23 event should they both make it into the third round.
Yu will await the winner of the matchup between China’s Zhou Zeqi and Muhammad Bayu Pangisthu of Indonesia.
In addtion, Yu is set to compete in his first ever Badminton Asia Championships from April 25-30 after missing the previous two editions.
The 28-year-old, who is set to depart the sultanate on April 15, is looking forward to both events.
“Both the China Masters and BAC will be treated equally,” said Yu in an interview with BruSports recently.
“It will be two weeks back-to-back in Changzhou and Wuhan so I will have to be ready for it. Concentration and focus is going to be crucial if I want to do well,” he added.
“I’m one of the lower ranked players so all I’m asking for is a good outing. I did okay in Thailand so I hope to do better in China.
“I also expect the draw for BAC will be a lot tougher. It is Super Series level event too so the opponents will be top,” continued the Rio Olympian, who is currently ranked 247 in the Badminton World Federation rankings.
Yu also paid tribute to Mohd Zuno Kartono Ali, the Brunei Darussalam Badminton Association assistant secretary, for making it possible to compete at the BAC.
“It is great news. Zuno as the Association’s assistant secretary has been keeping a close eye on the deadlines to finalise all submissions,” said Yu, who won two gold medals in the team and singles events during the recently concluded 3rd National Brunei Darussalam Games (SKBD).
“He knows how important the BAC is to Brunei and me personally.
“After missing for two years in a row, I’m determined to compete in my first ever BAC,” he added.
“It is also one of the major events for this year for me. I’m excited!” concluded Yu.