PETALING JAYA: It didn’t take too long for national back-up shuttler Eoon Qi Xuan (pic) to justify her selection into the Philippines SEA Games squad.
The 18-year-old, who was confirmed as the replacement for Goh Jin Wei last week, did well to reach the quarter-finals of the Indonesian International Challenge before her good run was ended by seventh seed Hirari Mizui of Japan in Magelang yesterday.
The world No. 201 Qi Xuan lost 15-21,18-21 to Mizui, the last year’s Asian Junior Championships’ bronze medallist, in 40 minutes.
In Thursday’s second round, Qi Xuan pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset by sending South Korean top seed Sim Yu-jin packing with a convincing 21-15,21-17 win.
It was a laudable result as the world No. 49 Yu-jin is a three-time semi-finalist on the World Tour.
Coach Loh Wei Sheng was happy that Qi Xuan had performed up to the expectation.
“Qi Xuan played to her true ability, ” said Wei Sheng.
“The level of any tournament in Indonesia is competitive, so this is a good exposure for her.
“Now she knows where she stands among her peers.
I hope she will continue to work on her game and become a better player.
“The win does not necessary mean Qi Xuan is on par with the world’s top 50 player but it’s a good start.”
Qi Xuan was promoted from the Bukit Jalil Sports School to the senior squad in January after reaching the quarter-finals of the World Junior Championships in Markham, Canada last year.
She has made eight appearances in senior tournaments this year, with the best result as the runner-up at the Malaysian International Series in June.
And that result was good enough as she was named ahead of injury-prone senior Ho Yen Mei for the vacant SEA Games spot left by Jin Wei, who’s recovering from a surgery to fix her stomach ailment.
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