The national cueist is grateful for a second chance to compete in the SEA Games.
PHNOM PENH: National cueist Thor Chuan Leong has dedicated his 2023 SEA Games gold medal to Malaysia for giving him a second chance to compete in the biennial Games.
The 35-year-old former professional player said that although his form had suffered a dip, the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation (MSBF) still had faith in him to bring glory to the country.
He explained that he faced really difficult times when he turned professional and played in the UK, which saw his performance suddenly take a nosedive, adding that it took him a long time to regain his touch.
“My game was horrible when I played in the UK. In Asia, I can was considered a great player, but in the UK I was playing like a novice.
“So, I returned (to Malaysia). It has taken me four to five years to get back to my previous level and that’s why many of you have not heard my name for so long. Now, everything is beginning to look up,” he said when met here.
Yesterday, Chuan Leong, who is more popularly called Thor in the sporting fraternity, clinched the men’s singles snooker gold medal, thus repeating the feat he achieved in the 2015 edition in Singapore.
His victory also ensured that the MSBF’s two-gold target has been achieved.
Thor now has a total of five SEA Games gold medals to his name, having come out tops in the men’s doubles snooker event in the 2011 edition in Palembang, Indonesia; singles and doubles gold medals in Singapore (2015); and the 6-Red individual gold in Myanmar (2013).
Thor, however, is still determined to turn professional again for the continuity of his career.
“Of course, I want to get back to being a professional because, sorry to say, this sport is not very popular in Malaysia … I mean it’s difficult to make a living. So, my plan after this is to go and play in championships in Thailand and join the Q School in June. If I can make the final, I will be able to be a professional cueist again,” he said.