GENTING HIGHLANDS: Budding shuttler Soh Wooi Yik has big expectations to live up to.
His father, Soh Goon Chup, played for the national team in the 1970s and 80s by partnering Ong Beng Teong in men’s doubles.
His uncle – Soo Beng Kiang – partnered Cheah Soon Kit to help Malaysia win the 1992 Thomas Cup.
And now Wooi Yik, who picked up badminton at the tender age of four, is hoping to do his family proud by carving a name for himself.
“I just fell in love with badminton the moment I picked up a racquet when I was just four years old. Maybe it’s in the genes,” said Wooi Yik.
“My father was my first coach ... I hope to follow in his footsteps. My uncle, however, is my idol and I really want to be like him one day.”
The 18-year-old is already on the right track, having reached the quarter-finals of the Asian Junior Championships and winning the Asean School Games boys’ doubles title with Ooi Zi Heng last year.
Wooi Yik-Zi Heng also played well in two matches for the Serdang Badminton Club at the Resorts World Genting Purple League Champions Challenge – giving their more experienced opponents a tough time.
The pair have also made the national team and are now training under Soon Kit.
Wooi Yik, who is on a six-month probation, hopes to make the best of the opportunity in the national team, especially with a proven winner like Soon Kit coaching them.
“My goal is to play at the Olympics one day ... and I’m targeting 2020 Games in Tokyo,” said Wooi Yik.
“There’s still a long way to go, but I’m ready to work hard for it. Besides, we’re also targeting the World Junior Championships this year.”
For now, Wooi Yik-Zi Heng will have to focus on three upcoming tournaments – the Granular Junior Open in Bangkok from Jan 19-24 and the Dutch and German Junior Opens in March.
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