Reigning Youth Olympics gold medallist and reigning Junior World champion Goh Jin Wei will defend her women’s singles title in this year’s SEA Games in the Philippines from Nov 30-Dec 11.
Bogged down by ill-health which forced her to skip several tournaments, including year’s World Championships in Basel, Switzerland later this week, Jin Wei was named in the 20-player squad to the biennial games by the Badminton Association of Malaysia on Thursday.
The Penangite won Malaysia’s only gold medal at the last SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur in 2017 where she beat compatriot Soniia Cheah 21-11, 21-10 in an all-Malaysia final.
The Malaysian team to the Philippines will be led by current national No 1 and 13th ranked Lee Zii Jia (men’s singles) which also includes youngsters Soong Joo Ven plus up and coming Lim Chong King and Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin.
The others in the men’s team are Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik; Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi; Goh Soon Huat and Tan Kian Meng.
Apart from Jin Wei and Sonniia the other women shuttlers are Lee Ying Ying, S.Kisona, Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen, Shevon Lai Jemie, and Lai Pei Jing.
At the last SEA Games, Malaysia’s medal tally in badminton stood at 1 gold, 5 silvers, and two bronze medals. Apart from Soniia taking the silver in the women’s singles, Malaysia also clinched silver medals in the men’s doubles through Ong Yew Sin Teo Ee Yi and mixed doubles through Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie.
Malaysia also the silver medals in the men’s team and the women’s team events- losing to Indonesia (3-0) and Thailand (3-1) respectively in the gold medal match.
Yew Sin-Ee Yi lost to Thailand’s Kittinupong Kedren-Dechapol Puavaranukroh 21-19,20-22, 21-17 in the men’s doubles final while Soon Huat-Shevon went down 15-21, 20-22 to Dechapol-Sapsiree Taerattanachai in the mixed doubles final.
BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann in a statement released on Thursday, said: “It is a team of youth and experience which will stand in good stead for the youngsters in the team who will be guided by the seniors.
“The experience in the SEA Games will do the younger players good for their future when playing at the bigger stage.”
Malaysia has set an initial target of two gold medals in the Philippines but Choong Hann was quick to say “it is going to be tough” in the highly competitive sport with the likes of Indonesia and Thailand. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH