KUALA LUMPUR: Driven by a determination to excel, Leong Jun Hao extended his impressive run at the Thailand Masters, checking into the semi-finals in Bangkok today.
The 2017 World Junior Championships runner-up showed great maturity to upset fourth seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong 21-15, 20-22, 21-7 in the quarter-finals.
Jun Hao, who also bagged the Asian junior title last year, said: "I am satisfied because I gave my all against Hu Yun in the match earlier.
"I need to maintain this form to go far in this tournament. Tomorrow, I play a Thai player (Kantaphon Wangcharoen) and I want to give my best again.
"It's a new year, and I've got targets I want to achieve. Hopefully I can be a top World 20 player by the end of this year."
There was more good news for Malaysia, as former World No 1 men's doubles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong also booked their place in tomorrow’s last four.
In the quarter-finals, the third seeded Malaysians, who were only reunited last month following a four-month split, saw off Thailand's Supak Jomkoh-Pakin Kuna Anuvit 25-23, 21-16.
The 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medallists will play Thai duo Tinn Isriyanet-Kittisak Namdash, next for a place in Sunday's final.
In the women's singles, Soniia Cheah advanced to the semi-finals following a 21-16, 21-6 win over Japan's Natsumi Shimoda. The Malaysian No 1 will play the winner of the match between top seed Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand and Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska Tunjung next.
Also through to the semi-finals were mixed doubles Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei.
Fifth seeds Peng Soon-Liu Ying, saw off Australia's Sawan Serasinghe-Setyana Mapasa 21-11, 21-13 in the quarter-finals and will face Thailand's Nipitphon Phuangphuapet-Jongkolphan Kititharakul next.
Tang Jie-Yen Wei beat Indonesia's Akbar Bintang Cahyono-Winny Oktavina Kandow 21-13, 21-18 to set up a semi-final clash against seventh seeds Deschapol Puavaranukroh-Puttita Supajirakul of Thailand.