PETALING JAYA: Like any aspiring shuttler, Nurshuhaini Azman aims to make it big on the international stage, just like current world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan.
And the 16-year-old believes she is heading in the right direction after making the national junior team this year.
The rookie now gets an opportunity to further showcase her talent in the playoffs at the 100PLUS National Junior Ranking Challenge which begins at the Juara Stadium today.
Nurshuhaini, who won Group B, was promoted to the top division three weeks ago.
And together with Group B runner-up, Loh Zhi Wei, they will take on Khor Jing Wen and Joanne Ng, the bottom two in Group A.
Nurshuhaini is now brimming with confidence as she won all her six matches without dropping a game in Group B.
“This is a great chance for me to break into the top four and I hope to make it count, ” said Nurshuhaini, who is last year’s National School Sports Council (MSSM) Under-15 gold medallist.
“With all the hard work I’ve put in, I believe I can do it. I missed out on an earlier opportunity as I was down with fever at the eleventh hour.
“It’s important to make the top group as it gives me a better chance of being considered for major events such as the Asian and World Junior Championships next year.
“This is the first baby steps I have to make towards achieving my dream of becoming the world No. 1, just like Tzu-ying, who happens to be my idol.”
Nurshuhaini, born into a badminton family, took up the sport at the age of five.
She trains under her father who is the founder and coach of Azman Amman Badminton Academy.
Six of Azman’s seven children play the game and have made a name for themselves on the local scene.Doubles player Mohd Nur Firdaus, 19, is currently on probation with the senior team.
“I’m the youngest in my family. Except for my eldest brother, the rest of us play badminton. Firdaus and I made it to the national team together this year and we aim to make our father proud, ” added Nurshuhaini.
“We wouldn’t come this far had it not been for him.”
Group A-B: V. Poopathi, Anson Cheong, Eogene Ewe, Dylan Ooi
Group B-C: Low Han Chen, Ferdinan Ramno, Lok Hong Quan, Aaron Tai
Group C-D: Kee Is Qian, V. Tamilarasukumar, Kong Teck Joon, Lee Yen Wei
Group A-B: Khor Jing Wen, Joanne Ng, Siti Nurshuhaini Azman, Loh Zhi Wei
Group B-C: Tan Shen Ting, Chong Jie Yu, Oo Shan Zi, Carmen Ting
Group C-D: Tan Zhing Hui, Lily Wong, Shaneesa Shahidi, Noraqilah Maisarah Ramdan
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