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Saturday January 12, 2013

Badminton: Time for Jing Yi to bring back the cheers inwomen’s singles

BUKIT JALIL: The time has come for shuttler Tee Jing Yi to show the world that Malaysia does have talent in the women’s singles department.

Jing Yi, who will be 22 in February, has been trying hard to fill the vacant spot left by former international Wong Mew Choo for almost two years.

And she has been progressing well.

She qualified for the London Olympic Games last year, nailed her third national title in December and is looking physically fitter after shedding some pounds too.

All she needs to do now is put up some good performances in the international circuit, starting with the Malaysian Open on Wednesday, to climb up the world rankings.

She is now 53rd in the world.

“Many at my age are already producing good results ... I still have some catching up to do,” said Jing Yi after enjoying the first day’s training at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

“I’m looking at one more year to take my game to a different level. My performance in the Malaysian Open is important as it will justify the coaches’ decision to send me to other international tournaments.

“I’ve not gone for international tournaments for more than a month now. But at least it has allowed me to enjoy quality training under coach Wong Tat Meng.”

Jing Yi said that the current batch of women’s singles players in China were not as strong as before.

“We should capitalise on this. Except for Wang Yihan and Li Xuerui, the others in China’s team are beatable. India and Thailand, especially, have stepped up,” she said.

“The Thais have really showed marked improvement and have more than one good singles player in the team now (Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, Sapsiree Taerattanachai, Busanan Ongbumrungpan, Nichaon Jindapon),” she said.

In the Malaysian Open, Jing Yi is in the same quarter as three-time world junior champion Ratchanok and second seed Julianne Schenk of Germany.

“Nichaon defeated Juliane in the ongoing Korean Open ... hopefully, I can pull off one upset too,” said Jing Yi.

The only other Malaysian woman singles players in the main draw is Lydia Cheah.

The others – Ho Yen Mei, Lee Ying Ying, Sannatasah Saniru, Yap Rui Chen, Yii Lee Zii, Yang Li Lian, Lim Chiew Sien and Sonia Cheah – will start from the qualifying tournament.

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