KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Ying Ying, Malaysia’s new women’s singles star, showed that she is shaping up well for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, in August.
The 17-year-old Ying Ying battled for more than one hour before going down 12-21, 21-18, 18-21 to Rei Nagata of Japan in the final of the Smiling Fish Thailand International Series in Trang, Thailand on Sunday.
It was Ying Ying’s first final appearance in the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) International Series.
In the semi-finals on Saturday, Ying Ying upset third seed Thamolwan Poopradubsil of Thailand 21-16, 18-21, 21-19 to be the only Malaysian to make the final.
With a good showing in the Thailand International Series, Ying Ying will now be going to the Youth Olympic Games with more confidence. In Nanjing, she will face tougher challenges against players from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia.
Two other Malaysians’ Youth Olmpic Games qualifiers - Cheam June Wei and R. Satheishtharan - were beaten earlier by the seeded players in the men’s singles event.
Satheishtharan lost 16-21, 18-21 to top seed and eventual champion Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand in the first round while June Wei crashed out 18-21, 18-21 to second seed Andre Marteen of Indonesia.
Women’s doubles shuttlers Cheah Yee See-Goh Yea Ching can walk tall despite losing 21-16, 18-21, 14-21 to fourth seeds Pacharapun Chochuwong-Chanisa Teachavorasinskun of Thailand on Saturday. En route to a top-four finish, Yee See-Yea Ching did well to dump top seeds Chaladchalam Chayanit-Peeraya Munkitamorn of Thailand 21-16, 20-22, 21-16 in the second round.