BADMINTON Tough but more success will come (The Strait Times Interactive) WINNING the five-star Japan Open was a good mountain to cross, said Singapore Badminton Association chief Lim Swee Say. And, given Ronald Susilo's determination, high technical skills and mental strength, he is confident that more success will come. [font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=-2]SBA president (right) was among the crowd who gathered to welcome Susilo (left) home last night. -- TERENCE TAN[/size][/font] Mr Lim, who is also the Environment Minister, had rushed from his weekly Meet the People session to be among 40 members of the badminton fraternity at Changi Airport last night to welcome the champion home. Later, speaking to the media, he cautioned: 'The path ahead will only get tougher.' Susilo, he said, accepted the fact that Singapore, being a small nation, cannot match the resources China, Indonesia or Malaysia can offer their players. One example is the lack of top-class sparring partners here. Added Mr Lim: 'I think Ronald accepts the point that as long as there is determination, as long as he keeps on believing in himself, work hard, work smart, success can still be achieved.' The 24-year-old became the first Singapore shuttler to win a prestigious title. Along the way to beating China's world No 5 Bao Chunlai 15-13, 15-6 in Sunday's final, he had also scalped Malaysian Wong Choong Hann of Malaysia (No 4) and Shon Seung Mo of South Korea (No 7). Although now a champion and No 8 in the world, Susilo remains the shy former Anglo-Chinese School boy. And how he blushed when the media questioned him on the non-appearance of his girlfriend Li Jiawei, the South-east Asia Games table tennis champion. 'Blame it on the late arrival time,' he told Timesport last night. 'She has morning training and needs to rest. So I told her not to come. We'll have dinner to make up for it.' Li confirmed the story, saying: 'I had wanted to go to the airport, but Ronald said he would be busy with reporters, and would have little time for me. 'Sometimes, he can be a little too considerate.' But truth, friends said, is that the couple is just publicity shy. Li also missed watching him win live on television. She said: 'I don't have cable TV at home, so I only knew the result from SMS messages. I was so happy, jumping about in my room like I'm crazy.' Li has another reason to smile. With the Japan Open victory, Susilo is virtually assured of accompanying her to the Athens Olympics from Aug 14 to 26. The Japan exploits have moved him from 15th in the world to No 8. In a rare display of public emotion, a subdued Susilo said: 'There's no time to rest. There's the Asian Championships next week and then preparations for the Olympics. 'I thank God for helping me win. At last I've given my parents something for them to feel proud of me.'