Lee Chong Wei in action in the badminton team event quarter-finals against Cambodia at the Singapore SEA Games on Wednesday. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/ The STAR
SINGAPORE: Leave it to the youngest member of the team to save the day.
Fifteen-year-old Goh Jin Wei stepped up to deliver a crucial point and help Malaysia qualify for the semi-final of the women’s badminton team event.
The Penangite, who won the Kuala Lumpur Open in February for her first senior title, held her nerves to beat Vietnam’s Nguyen Thuy Linh 21-19, 18-21, 21-11 in the quarter-final tie at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.
Jin Wei’s victory levelled the tie 2-2 before top women’s pair Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei finished the job by beating Vu Thi Trang-Nguyen Thi Sen 21-14, 21-14.
Earlier, Malaysian youngsters Lim Yin Fun and Ho Yen Mei crashed to defeats in the first and second ties of the match. Yin Fun lost to Vu Thi Trang 21-17, 21-16 while Yen Mei went down 21-17, 16-21, 21-17 to Nguyen Thi Sen.
Malaysia’s second ranked pair of Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho pulled one back by beating Thai Thi Hong Gam-Pham Nhu Thao 21-8, 21-10 before Jin Wei’s heroics.
“I’m happy to play ... although my game today wasn’t that great,” said the pint-sized Jin Wei.
Malaysia will need to buck up if they are to beat second seeds Indonesia, who received a bye, in the semi-finals on Thursday.
In the men’s event, Malaysia dispatched Cambodia 3-0 in the quarter-finals to set up a last-four clash with top seeds Indonesia.
Former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei even had time to entertain the crowd with some tricks and flicks before beating Cheng Phor Rom 21-10, 21-5 in the second tie.
Chong Wei Feng had given Malaysia a solid start by beating Tep Chanmara 21-7, 21-11.
Men’s pair Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong completed the win by thrashing Teav Yong Vannak-Nguon Kanora 21-8, 21-11.
“It’s nice to be back in the SEA Games. I’ve not competed here for so long because it always clashed with other events,” said Chong Wei.
The Star Online