KUALA LUMPUR: Doubles shuttler Ng Hui Lin almost gave up badminton for studies after her maiden trip to the All-England and Swiss Open last year.
Fortunately, she decided to give badminton another shot after giving it a lot of thought.
And, since then, she has enjoyed a rather joyful ride.
The bubbly 20-year-old found her niche in the mixed doubles after being paired with the flamboyant Koo Kien Keat. And, in just six months, they have emerged as the country’s top ranked pair.
In fact, Hui Lin-Kien Keat can now save the blushes for Malaysia by confirming at least one slot in the mixed doubles event at the World Championships in India in August if they can put up good performances in the back-to-back All-England and Swiss Open.
The All-England, which begins in Birmingham on Wednesday, and the preceding Swiss Open are the last two Super Series events which offer valuable ranking points before the deadline for the world meet qualifiers ends in May.
Hui Lin said she would go all out to strengthen a place for her first world meet stint with Kien Keat.
“Just a year ago, I was on the verge of quitting the sport. I am glad I chose to focus on both badminton and studies. Now, I am all excited about my badminton career,” said Hui Lin, who is doing her A-Levels at a local college here.
“My partnership with Kien Keat has improved although there are areas we need to work on.
“We have a chance to qualify for the world meet. And that will be our focus when we compete in the All-England and Swiss Open. We need to reach at least the quarter-finals.”
Hui Lin-Kien Keat are now ranked 46th in the world and will have to break into the top 24 to have a chance of making the trip to the world meet.
At the All-England, Hui Lin-Kien Keat have been drawn to meet Indonesians Devin Lahardi Fitriawan-Lita Nurlita in the first round. If they make it, they are set to take on sixth seed Joachim Fisher Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen of Denmark for a place in the last eight.
“We lost tamely to the Danes at the Malaysian Open (in January). This time, we are determined to give a better account of ourselves and make the top eight,” said Hui Lin.