Hon Jian-Haikal hungry for more after successful season

KUALA LUMPUR: Men's doubles Choong Hon Jian-Haikal Nazri are hungry for more after a brilliant finish to their 2023 season.

Since they were first paired up in August, Hon Jian-Haikal have won two World Tour titles — Syed Modi International and Guwahati Masters — from three final appearances.

What's more impressive is that in just two weeks the high-flying Hon Jian-Haikal have leaped from No. 93 to No. 52 in the latest world rankings.

Haikal, when met at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) on Tuesday, said his initial target was only to catch up and challenge their counterparts.

"I didn't see this coming (winning two titles), in fact out draw at the Syed Modi International was not exactly easy.

"Initially, the target was to catch up with our compatriots like Yap Roy King-Wan Arif Wan Junaidi, and Beh Chun Meng-Goh Boon Zhe.

"After winning the Guwahati Masters, we have overtaken Roy King-Arif (No. 60), so that's a target achieved," said Haikal, who came through the junior ranks partnering Arif, before he formed a temporary partnership with Nur Izzuddin Rumsani earlier this year.

Haikal, who hails from Bachok, Kelantan, is looking forward to spending some quality time with his family before he reunites with Hon Jian for the new season.

"This year, there wasn't any pressure on us. Next year, everything changes and we start again.

"For now we have a short break. I'm looking forward to spending some time back home with my family," added Haikal.

The other Malaysian men's doubles pairs ranked higher than Hon Jian-Haikal are world No. 3 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (No. 12), Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun (No. 19), Goh Sze Fei-Izzuddin (No. 26) and Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong (No. 46).

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