Malaysia's Goh Jin Wei in action against Thailand's second seed Nichaon Jindapon in the women's singles quarter-finals of the Singapore SEA Games. - FAIHAN GHANI/ The STAR
SINGAPORE: Goh Jin Wei is only 1.58m in height, but she can certainly stand tall.
The 15-year-old shuttler scalped second seed Nichaon Jindapon of Thailand – nine years her senior – in the women’s singles quarter-finals of the SEA Games.
Despite being ranked a lowly No. 264 in the world, Jin Wei made sure of Malaysia’s first-ever women’s singles medal since 2009 by beating world No. 38 Nichaon 21-16, 23-21 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
It was a rousing performance from the soft-spoken Penangite as she showed great court coverage and good attacking instincts to finish off the Thai, who was a bronze medallist two years ago.
“I really did not expect to win since Nichaon is quite an experienced player and her ranking is quite high,” said Jin Wei.
“Maybe she was under more pressure than me and I had nothing to lose.
“I’m happy that I’m able to contribute at least a bronze. Now I will do everything I can to win in the semi-finals,” said Jin Wei.
Jin Wei will meet Indonesian youngster Hana Ramadhini, who ended Singapore’s hopes by beating Liang Xiaoyu 21-15, 11-21, 21-14.
Tee Jing Yi, the other Malaysian representative, failed to clear the quarter-finals. She was beaten 13-21, 13-21 by top seed Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand.
In the men’s singles quarter-finals, fourth seed Chong Wei Feng fought hard to subdue Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie for the second time in a week.
The 28-year-old Wei Feng came back from a first-game loss to pull off a 20-22, 21-19, 21-18 win.
Wei Feng’s semi-final opponent is top seed Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand.
“It was mental toughness that won me the match today. Now I’ll go on to give my best against Tanongsak and hopefully do better than just a bronze,” said Wei Feng.
Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, who was a letdown for Malaysia in the team event, bounced back in style by notching a 22-20, 19-21, 21-19 win over Thai third seed Boonsak Ponsana.
Arif will take on 17-year-old Singaporean Loh Kean Yew for a place in the final.
Malaysia will also be represented in Monday’s semi-finals in the women’s doubles (Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei) and mixed doubles (Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying).
The Star Online