BADMINTON great Rashid Sidek has warned Leong Jun Hao not to get complacent after winning the Asian Junior title in Jakarta on Sunday.
Rashid, who himself won the Asian Junior singles and doubles titles in 1985, said there is a big disparity in quality between junior and senior international competitions that Jun Hao needs to adapt to.
"Winning the Asian Junior title does not guarantee anything. Zulfadli Zulkifli (2011 winner) is some way off if compared to the current crop of world class players," said Rashid.
"Open tournaments are much tougher with players who are a lot more experienced than Jun Hao. It is a lot different and he needs to work hard to bridge the gap.
"This title should give him added motivation to work harder and also improve on his mental strength."
The former national singles coach added that Jun Hao should not feel
discouraged should he lose to more senior players as he looks to make the transition.
"The most important thing is to never give up and to keep working hard in training until you reach the top.
"Follow the examples set by the seniors in the team such as Lee Chong Wei and Iskandar Zulkarnain. I did the same thing when I was coming up and improved step-by-step."
Rashid won the bronze medal in the singles at the 1996 Atalanta Olympics and had also played a major role in Malaysia winning the 1992 Thomas Cup.