KO before Tokyo?

  • Badminton
  • Saturday, 22 Jun 2019

A huge blow: Goh Jin Wei is seen as one of the potential medallists at the Tokyo Games. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Goh Jin Wei’s hopes of playing in her first Olympic Games may be in tatters.

National women’s singles head coach Datuk Tey Seu Bock confirmed Jin Wei has been rested from training indefinitely since last week so that she can get treatment for her ongoing battle with a stomach ailment.

Jin Wei has been withdrawn from all three upcoming tournaments – the Indonesian Open (July 16-21), Japan Open (July 23-28) and Thailand Open (July 30-Aug 4).

Jin Wei has only played in the Sudirman Cup and Australian Open since the one-year Olympic qualification period for the 2020 Tokyo Games started last month.

The news comes as a big shock as Jin Wei is seen as one of the potential medallists at the Tokyo Games.

Just seven months ago, a buoyed Jin Wei boldly declared that she wants a medal in Tokyo after winning her second world junior title in Markham, Canada.

The Youth Olympic Games gold medal winner kept her momentum going by reaching three semi-finals in four World Tour starts from November to March.

Jin Wei upset the likes of Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, China’s He Bingjiao and American Zhang Beiwen en route to the last four of the Korean Masters, Malaysian Masters and German Open.

Seu Bock said Jin Wei’s health comes first.

“We want her to forget about the Olympics until she has fully recovered. There’s nothing more important than her health,” said Seu Bock.

“It’s best that she rests due to her continuous stomach discomfort. We’ve not given a time frame when she must return.

“The doctors at the National Sports Institute (NSI) are closely monitoring her.

“She has consulted a few specialists previously but has yet to find out the reasons for her ailment. Hopefully, there will be a solution soon.

“She’s only 19 and the sky’s the limit for her. If she stays healthy and fit, she can even last until the 2028 Olympics.

“She can still get her Olympic qualification back on track if she returns to competition by November the latest.

“It shouldn’t take long for a young player like her to get fit.”

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) general manager Michelle Chai said they would not apply for ranking protection for Jin Wei although the world No. 26 would be out of action for some time.

“We’ll monitor her progress. We’ve not applied for the ranking protection at this stage yet,” said Michelle.

Jin Wei is in danger of slipping out of the world’s top 32 by end of July as she will not be defending her points in Japan and Thailand.

It’s important for a player to remain in the top 32 as it gives him or her direct entry into all the top-tier World Tour events.

When contacted, a dejected Jin Wei declined to comment.

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