Reigning world junior champion and youth Olympics gold medallist Goh Jin Wei stunned fifth ranked Akane Yamaguchi for her first win in six meetings against the Japanese ace to advance to the second round in the USD350,000 Perodua Malaysia Masters.
The 18-year-old Malaysian had gone winless in their previous five meetings but this time around turned the tables on the third seeded Yamaguchi in straight games with a 21-14, 21-12 win in 33 minutes in a first round match at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.
Jin Wei is the only Malaysian women’s singles shuttler left in the tournament after Soniia Cheah and Lee Ying failed to get past their first round opponents – China’s Gao Fangjie (19-21, 21-5, 21-13) and Russia’s Evgeniya Kosetskaya (21-11, 15-21, 21-17) respectively.
“This is a big win for me,” said Jin Wei who was expecting a tough match against Yamaguchi, adding that she is now more confident of playing senior players.
For a place in the quarter-finals Jin Wei will face China’s Zhang Yiman who came through a three-game 50 minute to prevail 21-18, 13-21, 21-16 against Singapore’s Malaysian-born Yeo Jia Min.
In her previous meetings Yamaguchi beat the Malaysian in the Badminton Asia Championships in Wuhan in 2016 and 2017, the Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast (2017) and the Thailand Masters and Victor China Open last year. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH