Iskandar has not given up on his Olympics dream

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He went down fighting but former national shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin is proud of himself in the manner he lost to China’s Liu Haichao in the semi-finals in the USD75,000 Lingshui China Masters on Saturday.

The 28-year-old from Muar, Johor, battled for 75-minutes before he fell to a 9-21, 22-20, 16-21 defeat – a defeat he believes that could the turning point for him in the coming tours.

It was his best run since he turned professional and he held his head high despite his failure to reach the final. Iskandar is not letting the defeat in China stand in his way.

It has been tough on Iskandar since he left the national team. Even when he was in the Badminton of Malaysia (BAM) stable he had his run-ins with the management.

One that stands out in his indiscipline when he was hauled up by the BM when he was reported for smoking in his hotel room when he was with the national team to the Thomas Cup Finals in May last year.

Iskandar was fined and his allowance was deducted to pay the expenses incurred in cleaning up the hotel room. He was also taken to task for reporting late for training after the Hari Raya holidays.

The”pains and heartbreaks” have possibly made him a better player but it is a long journey to achieve his targets. Only time will tell if Iskandar is really making good as a professional.

His next stop is the Vietnam International Challenge in April.

For sure he is not throwing in the towel and hopes to make good whatever chance he gets before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifying rounds begin in May.

Iskandar is determined to get positive results in the lower tier tournaments as he bids to move up to the higher ranked tournaments.

“My run in Hainan (Lingshui China Masters) is a confidence booster,” said Iskandar. RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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