KUALA LUMPUR: When top junior girls pair Goh Yea Ching and Peck Yen Wei are not on court, the former is the one who seems to make more noise.
The bubbly Yea Ching plans to make even more noise when she and Yen Wei represent Malaysia at the Asian Junior Championships from Feb 16-23 in Taiwan.
The duo are one of three pairs named for the tournament. The other two are Tew Jia Jia-Eng Pui Yee and Yap Zhen-Raja Nurnina Raja Azlan Shah.
Yea Ching may be only 151cm tall, but her stature belies her aspirations. She is very confident and shows a lot of determination.
On court, the small-sized girl, who draws inspiration from Ma Jin of China, is explosive and exudes power through her attacking play. She is currently working on improving the consistency of her service.
“The training that we are going through now is harder as there is a lot of focus on agility, movement, footwork and general fitness,” said Yea Ching, who also admires her coach Wong Pei Tty, who is the former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and national doubles star Vivian Hoo.
“In our previous outing at the Asian Junior meet, we made it to the last 16. This year, we are aiming higher and aspire to reach at least the semi-finals,”
Yea Ching’s partner Yen Wei is more soft-spoken but she is not to be taken lightly either.
At 163cm, Yen Wei works her magic up front. She has precise touches which makes her effective at the net. She is now working on improving on the power of her shots.
“We try to complement each other on court. We always encourage each other when morale is low,” said Yen Wei, who just adores China’s Zhao Yunlei and Vivian.
Yea Ching and Yen Wei have been playing as a pair for two years now and the familiarity helps their game.
“Besides playing badminton, we spend a lot of time off court together ... studying, eating, joking and also talking about tactical plays which are to be used during games,” said Yen Wei.
Now that they have completed their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), the pair feel that more time and attention can be devoted to training.
“Balancing studies and badminton was not easy. We used to bring our books along with us when we went for tournaments and we helped each other when we didn’t understand something,” Yen Wei said.
Through hard work, determination, a common vision and support from family members, this pair are out to make a bang at the championships next week.