* Perfect birthday for Jin Wei as the youngest Open winner
* She is also the youngest Sukma badminton gold medallist
Remember this name – Goh Jin Wei – who hails from Penang – land of many badminton greats – as she wrote badminton history yet again in a spate of nine months when she won the Kuala Lumpur Open at the KLBA Stadium in Cheras on Sunday at the age of 15.
In June last year at the age of 14 the Jin Wei became the youngest ever to win the women’s singles Sukma (National Games) gold medal when she beat Uber Cupper Yang Li Lian of Selangor 20-22, 22-20, 21-15 in the final in Kangar – that achievement came after reaching the quarter-finals in the World Junior Championships in Alor Star.
Jin Wei lost to Japan Aya Ohori for a place in the semi-finals but former World No 1 and Malaysia’s top singles player Datuk Lee Chong Wei hailed as a “future badminton star” whose exploits on the court augurs well for Malaysian badminton.
She defeated Li Lian yet again – this time in the KL Open, winning her quarter-final match 22-24, 21-17, 21-17 enroute to the final in her first competition in the Open category. In the women’s singles final Jin Wei, who is only 1.57m tall gave another gutsy performance to take the title with a 21-13, 22-24, 21-19 win over National No 4 Lim Yin Fun, 21 in 69 minutes.
It was a sparkling performance from Jin Wei who overcame the stomach cramps to land her first major title in the Open category. It would not have come at a better time for Jin Wei who wants to go beyond the quarter-finals in this World Junior Championships to be held in Peru in November.
“Frankly I am in a daze…I am surprised with my achievement in winning the KL Open title. I was determined to go as far as could in the higher category but winning the title is shocking,” said Jin Wei who celebrated her 15th birthday on Jan 30.
Malaysian badminton will be hearing a lot more of the Form Two student who is living to her billing as a “rising star” in the badminton world.
If Jin Wei celebrated her success, another Goh – Goh Soon Huat – was also celebrating his early “ang pow” when the Thomas Cupper took the men’s singles title with a 21-12, 21-19 win over former international Tan Chun Seang. The Sabah Open champion’s win means he has staked a strong claim for a place in the national team for the SEA Games in Singapore from June 5-16.
Goh Soon Huat (BAM) beat Tan Chun Seang (Ked) 21-12, 21-19
Tan Wee Gieen-Teo Ee Yi (BAM) beat Mohd Lutfi Zaim Abdul Khalid-Wong Fai Yin (BAM) 21-16, 21-11
Goh Jin Wei (BAM) beat Lim Yin Fun (BAM) 21-13, 22-24, 21-19
Lim Yin Loo-Soong Fie Cho (BAM) beat Chin Kah Mun-Chow Mei Kuan (BAM) 21-13, 21-14
Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (BAM) beat Wong Fai Yin-Chow Mei Kuan (BAM) 21-13, 21-14