HEARING-impaired doubles badminton athletes Boon Wei Ying and Foo Zu Tung are aiming to reach the semi-finals in the World Deaf Championship women’s doubles category.
The duo have stepped up their training and strategy planning for the upcoming tournament at Para De Minas, Brazil, in July.
Both shuttlers performed impeccably last year when they won gold in the women’s doubles category at the 24th Summer Deaflympics in Caxias Do Sul, Brazil in May and also at the inaugural South-East Asia (SEA) Deaf Games in Kuala Lumpur in November.
It was difficult for Wei Ying, 28, to compete in the SEA Deaf Games as she was struggling with a back injury.
She hurt her back during the Asia Pacific Deaf Games in Pattaya, Thailand, in September, where she and Zu Tung had to concede a walkover in the women’s doubles semi-finals.
“It was quite difficult for me to run around the court with the injury during the SEA Deaf Games tournament.
“I pulled out of the women’s singles to focus on the women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
“I am glad that my coach Sabrina Chong, and both of my partners, Zu Tung and Edmund Teo, were quite understanding and took care of me a lot throughout the tournament,” said Wei Ying.
She partnered Edmund in the SEA Deaf Games mixed doubles category.
She is now recovering from her injury at a good pace.
“Zu Tung and I will train harder and work together to improve our game strategy,” said Wei Ying.
Meanwhile, Zu Tung, 24, said that during the SEA Deaf Games, she had to cover a larger area of the court during the women’s doubles’ final due to Wei Ying’s injury.
“I felt pressured on the court and it affected my performance.
“But Wei Ying encouraged me during the match and I calmed myself down to face our opponents,” she said.
Zu Tung added that she would now focus on doubles and would likely pull out from participating in the women’s singles category of the World Deaf Championship.
“I am still discussing this with my coach to decide the best solution for me.
“I will train harder to improve my stamina and try my best at the championship,” she said.
J World Sports (JWS) coach Jason Wong, who is also Malaysian Deaf Sports Association (MSDEAF) advisor, said he was confident that both Wei Ying and Zu Tung would deliver during the World Deaf Championship.
“Our target is to get at least one gold medal and I believe Wei Ying and Zu Tung can do it as they have won gold before.
“We are also targeting to improve their world ranking,” he said.
Currently, in the women’s singles category, Wei Ying is ranked third while Zu Tung is ranked eighth in the world.