KUALA LUMPUR: Thailand have young star Ratchanok Intanon. Soon, Malaysia will have Goh Jin Wei rocking the badminton world in women’s singles.
On Saturday, the 13-year-old Jin Wei from Penang showed power, class and a lot of fire in her belly to outplay 18-year-old Slyvia Kavita Kumares 21-17, 21-15 in 36 minutes to emerge as the girls’ singles champion in Division Two of the Kuala Lumpur Open at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton (KLBA) Stadium in Cheras.
This is Jin Wei’s second title after having won the Division Two crown in the Kedah Open in June.
She has beaten all the top four players – Ho Yen Mei, S. Kisona, Lee Ying Ying and Yap Rui Chen – from the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
With her win, Jin Wei has sealed a ticket to play in the National Grand Prix Finals in December where she will get a chance to challenge the seniors like Tee Jing Yi, Yang Li Lian and Sonia Cheah.
Jin Wei downplayed her outstanding achievement.
“I played my usual game and did a lot of attacking and it paid off. It feels good to win again,” said Jin Wei, who trains under Penang state coach Deng Lei of China.
“Now, I will get a chance to play with the seniors at the GP Finals. I will use it as a platform to see where I stand against them,” said Jin Wei.
Despite her immense talent, Jin Wei will have to sit out a number of international junior championships.
She is not eligible to compete in the World Junior Championships in Bangkok from Oct 23-Nov 3 because the world meet is only for players aged 14 to 18 years old.
She will also not get a chance to brush shoulders with the best in the region at the Indonesian International Under-15 and Under-17 Championships because of the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) decision to freeze sending players for overseas tournaments.
When asked about her future plans, Jin Wei, who did the country proud by winning the Under-15 title at the Thailand International in Trang this year, said: “It would have been great to compete in these junior tournaments. I hope to join the BJSS next year and go out for more tournaments. My main goal is to become a world and Olympic champion in the future. I will stay focused to achieve these goals.”
There was also an upset in the boys’ doubles in Division Two with state players stealing the show. The unseeded Chan Ren Cong of Perak and Lim Ming Chuen of Penang stunned joint fifth-eighth seeds Chen Jia Huo-Goh Sze Fei of BJSS 21-14, 21-18 in just 24 minutes.