PETALING JAYA: New look, new ambition.
National men’s singles shuttler Ng Tze Yong has decided to shed his old image by doing away with his “mushroom” hair and hopes it will bring a positive vibe in his preparation for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham starting on July 28.
Yesterday, the 22-year-old was seen sporting a new look with a cropped haircut during a training session at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara.
His usual mop hairstyle had brought mixed reaction from his fans in the past. Some felt that he looked cute while others think it was untidy and obstructing his movement on court.
“Yes, I have changed my hairstyle for the Commonwealth Games. I want to try something new and hopefully this gives me some luck,” said Tze Yong.
Tze Yong is out to embrace any good fortune that comes his way as he bids to shine in the quadrennial Games. The youngster has a tough task to fill in the vacant spot left by Lee Zii Jia as he could face the likes of Singapore’s reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew (No. 9) India’s Lakshya Sen (No. 10) and K. Srikanth (No. 11).
Zii Jia had decided to skip the Games to focus on his preparation for the World Championships in Tokyo, Japan, next month.
On paper, Tze Yong is not expected to shine, but he is buoyed by his last outing in the recent Singapore Open where he reached the quarter-finals after stunning Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long (No. 12) and Lee Cheuk Yiu (No. 15).
Although he exited after going down to eventual champion Anthony Ginting of Indonesia, Tze Yong’s encouraging show saw him jump three rungs to No. 44 in the world.
“What I can promise is that I will fight hard in all my matches in Birmingham.
“I am happy with my preparations and feel that I am ready,” added Tze Yong.
“My performances in Singapore has given me a lot of confidence. Of course the competition will be quite tough in the men’s singles but I feel physically good and ready to go all out.”
Tze Yong has never played against Kean Yew and Lakshya but has come out second best in his past two encounters with Srikanth.
The Johorean acknowledged that he needed to do something different if he had to meet Srikanth again.
“I will discuss with my coaches and possibly come up with a new strategy if I am drawn to face him,” said Tze Yong.