It was a case of new World Tour, new tournament tier but same champion at the Thailand Masters today as Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto successfully defended his title to get 2018 off to a winning start.
In the debut Super 300 tournament on the all new HSBC BWF World Tour, Sugiarto, seeded two, made it 11 matches unbeaten in Bangkok after taking 43 minutes to defeat Jun Hao Leong 21-16, 21-15 to claim his 14th title in a 12 year career on the international circuit.
Last year Sugiarto followed up his Thailand success with a surprise first round exit at the YONEX All England. This time, the 29 year old will look to maintain his winning form at the Super 500 Malaysia Masters as he eyes a return to the world 20.
For the unseeded Leong of Malaysia his run from the qualification rounds to a first international final outside of his homeland at senior level will not have gone unnoticed.
Already dubbed a ‘wonderkid’ by the Badminton Association of Malaysia, Jun Hao Leong is 2017 Asia Youth champion and won silver at the 2017 World Juniors Championships.