Wong Choon Hann wants Cheam June Wei to start performing at a higher level after the men’s singles shuttler clinched the Malaysia International Challenge title on Sunday following his win over Ren Peng Bo.
Cheam beat the upcoming Chinese shuttler 21-16, 19-21, 21-18 to claim his first title of the year, but Wong, who is Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director, wants the shuttler to up the ante.
"This victory is good for him, as he has shown the level of commitment and training with purpose. But I need him to start performing on a higher gear, he needs to anticipate what is coming.
"When he is moving up the ranks, he is constantly facing high quality players. For players ranked 30th-70th, anyone can beat anyone on their day. That’s why it’s crucial to have a big heart and aim high," said Wong when met at the national training centre on Tuesday.
After the victory in Kangar, Perlis, the 22-year-old immediately got on a plane to endure three transits as he made his way to South Korea for the Gwangju Korea Masters which began on Tuesday.
Lethargy ultimately triumphed as Cheam crashed out 20-22, 21-6, 19-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chia Hao in the second qualifying round.
While the defeat was understandable judging by the non-stop travel, Wong wants the 64th ranked shuttler to start delivering on tournaments on this level, and even higher.
"He should already be performing on International Challenge tournaments, and Super 300 events like the Korea Open.
"Other than Lee Zii Jia, our second and third liners are way behind. They do not have time to stop and take a breather.
"This training centre is not a testament of their strengths, and they should realise that. Tournaments like the International Challenge, and higher level ones are the true tests. That is where we can gauge their performance," added Wong.
Lee is the only Malaysian shuttler ranked in the top 20, at 12th, followed by Liew Daren (31st), Soong Joo Ven (56th) and Cheam.