Shuttler Kisona now highest ranked in BAM

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THE weight is on S. Kisona’s shoulders now that she is the highest-ranked women’s singles player under the BA of Malaysia (BAM) stable.

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Although the World No 62 is only the second-highest ranked Malaysian in the world rankings, she will now take the centre stage following BAM’s decision to drop 32nd-ranked Soniia Cheah recently.

Kisona’s first mission is to break into the world’s top 30 by the end of the season.

The 23-year-old feels she can take on the best following her experience in two top-tier events in Bangkok last month.

Kisona was a first-round casualty in the Yonex Thailand Open following her defeat to India’s Saina Nehwal but did better in the Toyota Thailand Open by reaching the second round before going down to India’s reigning world champion P.V. Sindhu.

The Negeri Sembilan-born is now preparing for next month’s All England and Orleans Masters.

“I was lucky to qualify for the two Thailand Opens. I was ready and did my best.

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“As a shuttler, you need to be ready as opportunities may just come knocking on your door,” said Kisona, who had initially travelled to Bangkok as a sparring partner.

The shuttler hopes to start collecting valuable ranking points at the All England on March 17-22.

“I’m currently No 62 in the world, and of course, it will not be easy to break into the top 30. However, I want to do it. That is my target for the year,” said the 2019 Sea Games champion.

On whether being a No 1 BAM player adds pressure, Kisona added: “I don’t think it is pressure. It is a responsibility.

“To represent the country as the first singles player is a huge responsibility. I am ready for it, but I will have to work hard.

“Playing in top-tier events allows me to gauge my performance against the best.

“I feel good during training, but that alone is not enough. I need to start proving my ability on the bigger stage.”

Compatriots Lee Ying Ying and Goh Jin Wei will also compete in the Orleans Masters in France on March 23-28.- NST

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