Jason Koh in action during the
2010 Brunei Darussalam Junior
Table Tennis Championships.
Koh beat Cambodian Thaing
Kheang 3-0 at the 19th
Southeast Asian Junior Table
Tennis Championships on Friday.
Picture: BT/Yee Chun Leong
Brunei has shown more progress at the 19th Southeast Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships in Manila.
The junior paddlers have always been pushovers at the competition with straight sets losses, but they managed to win some sets in the last edition.
This year they had an even better breakthrough after Jason Koh won a game against Cambodia in the Boy's Under-15 team event on Friday.
The team event consisted of four singles and one doubles event in the best of five format.
Jason won 3-0 (11-9, 17-15, 11-5) against Thaing Kheang in their singles matchup at the Harrison Plaza Mall.
He teamed up with his older brother, Leonardo, and almost won a second match but fell to a 3-2 (12-10, 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-4) defeat to the duo of Thaing and Soeng Tola in the doubles category.
Team manager, Koh Chun Siong, was delighted to see his charges put up a good fight.
"It was very exciting and it is a great step ahead," said Chun Siong in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"Both boys played well and put up a good fight in their games.
"They had to play to their best but it still would not be enough in terms of skills and control because we lack the guidance of a coach... Otherwise we don't stand a chance to win regional trophies and it is a waste of talent for this sport in the country," he continued.
In the other matchups, the Koh brothers were swept aside 3-0 by both Thailand and Vietnam.
The duo of Fiona Hii and Hong Rou Qin didn't manage to win any games in the Girls Under-15 team event.
They lost 3-0 to the trio of Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.
They will begin their singles event today and the team manager knows that it will be tough.
"The singles will be tricky and it depends on who they are drawn against, but I strongly believe that the players can perform to their best," said Chun Siong.
"Qualifying for the next round will be a bonus because all the players gathered here are the best in the region," he concluded.
The junior paddlers recently saw action at the 5th ASEAN School Games in Hanoi from June 22-30 and have undergone centralised training over the past three months through the Co-Curriculum Department of the Ministry of Education.
Besides Brunei and hosts the Philippines, the others from the region taking part in the competition include Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.