THAILAND’S Boonsak Ponsana is using a new weapon called Kumpoo in a bid to make his mark in this year’s World Championships.
Yesterday, the 16th-seeded Boonsak defeated Kestutis Navickas of Lithunia 21-14, 14-21, 21-17 with the Kumpoo racquet — a brand from Japan — in the first round of the men’s singles event.
“I have struck a new deal with this sports brand starting with this world meet. I am hoping that that there will be a change of fortune for me this year,” said Boonsak.
“I was rather slow today and gave my opponent easy chances to kill the bird. I am confident that I will play better as the tournament progresses,” he said.
Boonsak has been struggling with injury and health problems this year and it made him played like an amateur.
At last month’s Thailand Open, he went down to Vietnamese Nguyen Tien Ming in the final but that was because he was coming back from a bout of fever and flu.
“I was hospitalised for four days and had only less than a week of training before the Thailand Open.
“I do not see the defeat as a big setback. I am better now,” said Boonsak.
He has also been plagued by a knee injury but Boonsak said that it was in the past now.
He will take on New Zealand’s Joe Wu next and should get past to set up a match with South Korean Park Sung-hwan in the third round.
“I have beaten Sung-hwan in the Singapore Open this year and hopefully I will be able to repeat the feat,” added Boonsak, whose main goal is to peak at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Boonsak is considered one of the spoilers in the world of badminton. The others are Tien Minh, Poland’s Wacha Przemyslaw and Holland’s Dicky Palyama.
And yesterday, unseeded Japanese Tago Kenichi proved that he is another one in the making when he tamed seventh seed Joachim Persson of Denmark with a 16-21, 21-14, 21-13 win to make it to the second round.