From sparring partner to main draw

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Reigning Sea Games champion S. Kisona initially thought she would only be a sparring partner for her teammates in Bangkok.

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However, the World No 92 received an upgrade on Tuesday when she was handed a women’s singles main draw ticket for next week’s Yonex Thailand Open following withdrawals in the women’s singles event.

If there is no redraw, the 22-year-old will take on World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan in the first round.

The 22-year-old, the fifth reserve on the list, moved into the main draw following the withdrawal of World No 22 Nitchaon Jindapol due to injury.

Earlier, Akane Yamaguchi, Nozomi Okuhara, Sayaka Takahashi and Aya Ohori withdrew after Japan cancelled their trip to Thailand following men’s World No 1 Kento Momota’s positive Covid-19 test.

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It is certainly a huge opportunity for the Seremban-born to make an impression in her first BWF World Tour Super 1000 event.

For the record, the Yonex Thailand Open will be Kisona’s second tournament since winning the women’s singles gold medal at the 2019 Philippines Sea Games.

Kisona’s last international assignment was the Asia Team Championships last February before the cancellation of badminton events due to the pandemic.

At the Asian Team meet, she made headlines by overcoming World No 19 Ohori. National women’s singles coach Indra Wijaya was pleased to see Kisona catch a lucky break.

“It’s a good opportunity for her. It will be a great experience for Kisona to compete in a big tournament like this.”-NST

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