Malaysia's teenage badminton player Goh Jin Wei in action at the KL Open in February. - Filepic
SINGAPORE: Teenager Goh Jin Wei is unfazed about being the youngest member of the SEA Games badminton squad.
The 15-year-old, who will make her debut in the biennial Games, has taken everything thrown at her in training in her stride.
The Penangite, who won the KL Open in February by beating several senior players from the national set-up, is now eyeing the scalp of top players in the region when the badminton competition starts with the team event on Wednesday.
“It’s really quite an honour training with the seniors and having the chance to compete in the SEA Games,” said Jin Wei.
“I’m actually getting excited as the competition is about to start ... I’m looking forward to getting on court.
“My target is to go out there and play well. It’d be great if I can spring a surprise against the top players ... like Thailand’s Busanan (Ongbungrumpan).”
Jin Wei is slated to compete in the individual event, but Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost has been so pleased with her attitude in training that he may also field her in the team event.
“I’m really pleased with what I’ve seen from Jin Wei ... from the training sessions in KL and here in Singapore,” said the Dane.
“She’s doing really well for her age and she’s taken everything thrown at her without any complains.
“This is a good opportunity to see how the younger shuttlers fare and it will be a good exposure for them as well.”
Malaysia face a tough challenge in the women’s team event, especially with Thailand boasting three strong singles players in world No. 18 Busanan, No. 6 Ratchanok Intanon and No. 12 Nichaon Jindapon.
The national squad have a more realistic chance in the men’s team event. The presence of former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has clearly boosted their hopes of winning the team gold they last won in Manila in 2005.
The Star Online