DETERMINED: Wei Feng, Daren out for points to break into top 20
CHONG Wei Feng and Liew Daren will aim to extract from the Taiwan Open grand prix gold some points to improve their world ranking and reach the World top 20 at year-end, a target set by singles chief coach Rashid Sidek.
Wei Feng made some progress in his last tournament, the Japan Open, by reaching the quarter-finals two weeks ago and has overtaken Daren by moving up from World No 33 to 27.
Daren had some good results early in the year but inconsistency bugged him again where he lost in the preliminary rounds of the China Masters and Japan Open and is currently ranked No 28.
Wei Feng has a tougher draw where he will meet Alamsyah Yunus of Indonesia in the first round and a possible second round showdown against compatriot Hafiz Hashim and a quarter-final clash against Sony Dwi Kuncoro who won the Indonesia Open grand prix gold title in Palembang yesterday.
Wei Feng, who must try to clear those hurdles if he wants to make fast progress in the world ranking, targets a semi-final spot where he will most likely play Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in the last four.
Daren has a bye in the first round and is expected to play compatriot Zulfadli Zulkifli in the second round and should clear the third round without much problems as he is likely to meet Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan.
Dionisius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia is likely to be his quarter-final opponent and if Daren wins, he will take on either Kenichi Tago of Japan or Ho Yun of Hong Kong in the semis.
Rashid said Wei Feng and Daren must make use of the training sessions with Lee Chong Wei and deliver quality results and break into the World top 20 this year.
"Until the Olympics, they helped Chong Wei in his preparations but now he wants to help Wei Feng and Daren improve by sparring more often with them. This is a golden opportunity and they must break into the top 20," said Rashid.
"They will be more confident if they are in the top 20 and it will also give them a better monthly allowance and ranking bonuses.
"The most important thing is that they will be more confident and will also get a better draw in the super series events if they are in the top 20."
Wei Feng and Daren will also play in the Denmark (Oct 16-21) and French (Oct 23-28) Opens.
They will also compete in the local circuit, the Pahang Open (Oct 10-13) but their focus will be on producing quality results in three international events this month.