PETALING JAYA. Foo Kok Keong’s son is only nine years old, but already shows the same passion as his legendary father and could become a star.
Former world No. 1 and player fighter in his prime, Kok Keong was an integral part of the 1992 Thomas Cup winning team and is grooming his son, Fu Hao Yu, to follow in his footsteps.
Hao Yu has been playing badminton since the age of five and trains at Kuala Lumpur Tactical Badminton under coach Andrew Chang.
Two weeks ago, Hao Yu proved his budding talent when he finished runner-up in the under-10 boys’ singles at the 2022 OUG Junior Tournament for talented youngsters who are not state players.
10-year-old Mohd Adam Rayyan, son of another former world No. 1 Roslin Hashim, also competed but lost in the second round.
Kok Keong wants his son to reach for the stars and dreams of him emulating his own achievements.
“Hao Yu started playing badminton even earlier than me because I was 10 years old when I took up the sport, while he already started at the age of five,” said Kok Keong.
“I was the first Malaysian to reach No. 1 when the world rankings were introduced and also won the country’s last Thomas Cup 30 years ago.
“My dream now is for my son to become the country’s first men’s singles world champion and first Olympic gold medalist,” added Kok Keong.
Andrew was effusive in his praise of the youngster and was sure he had the passion to excel in the sport.
“Hao Yu is very passionate about badminton. He knows who’s who from the 80s to the current generation of players. This is thanks to his father, who sparked his interest in the game by bringing him to badminton events and watching live matches together on TV before he even knew how to walk properly.
“In Hao Yu’s free time and especially during the country’s lockdown, he will watch a lot of matches on Astro or YouTube.
“He’ll pick up on the little details of the players, like when they put the towel down to delay the game and shake hands before and after the game.
“She can also accurately imitate Li Zi Jia’s smashes.
“These are advantages for him because he knows and loves the sport and has a passion to excel in it. He just needs to put the time and effort into training to perfect his craft. There are no shortcuts to success,” Andrew explained.
Meanwhile, Roslin is equally excited about her son’s progress.
“My son trains under Indonesian coach Moro Asmoro at his club Asmoro Badminton in Kuala Lumpur,” Roslin said.
“I hope one day he will become a world and Olympic champion, but I don’t want to rush his development. I want to let him grow at his own pace.”