KUALA LUMPUR: Women’s singles head coach Indra Wijaya has vowed to help rising star K. Letshanaa (pic) win a medal at the World Junior Championships (WJC) in January.
The 46-year-old Indonesian, who took charge in July, has nothing but praise for Letshanaa, 17, who has been showing a good attitude in training despite her predicament.
Unlike the rest of her teammates, Letshanaa does not train full time as she has to attend school in the morning.
She is also not based at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) and lives with her parents.
Seen as an exceptional talent, Letshanaa was roped in by the Badminton Association of Malaysia to train with the seniors earlier this year to fast-track her transition to elite level.
It is a special privilege as players usually go through the junior development programme before they are promoted to the senior squad.
But Letshanaa has made an impression over the years by bagging the national competition at all age-group levels.
Her most notable achievement was winning the National Under-18 Championships in 2017 when she was just 14.
“Despite joining us after school every day, she remains in high spirits, ” said Indra.
“It’s not easy and I can see that sometimes she’s exhausted. She can only afford about 30 to 40 minutes of rest when she travels from school to ABM. She even has lunch in the car.
“For now, she only trains a session with us. Her only full session is on Saturday.
“The quality of training will surely be lacking, but for me it’s a great deal for her to train alongside her seniors.
“These sparring sessions will help a lot, especially for her who’s still eligible to play at junior level.
“Now that she trains with us, it’s definitely my duty to help her excel at the WJC.”
Indra is looking forward to bringing the best out of her when she gets to train full-time next year.
“She will join us after completing her SPM, ” added Indra. “She’s a great talent and I believe she can go far.”
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