PETALING JAYA: Former women’s singles head coach Datuk Tey Seu Bock hailed retired shuttler Goh Jin Wei as a fighter after the latter fought all she could before finally hanging up her racquet.
Seu Bock, who coached Jin Wei when she was hitting top form between 2018 and 2019, revealed that Jin Wei has been battling with her stomach ailment for almost three years now.
“It didn’t happen in 2019,” said Seu Bock, who is now deputy to Hendrawan in managing the men’s singles squad.
“Jin Wei first had this health issue back in 2018 before the Commonwealth Games (in Gold Coast, which she did not make the squad).
“At first it didn’t bother her too much, but it got worse gradually until it reached a point in early 2019 that she had to start taking medicine.
“But she’s such a fighter, she soldiered on despite the pain and was still able to produce her top game.
“It’s amazing that she still managed to achieve many great feats throughout that period. She deserves a lot of credit for her fighting spirit.”
After winning the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games gold, Jin Wei continued her remarkable progress the following year by triumphing back-to-back in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and World Junior Championships in Markham, Canada.
The world junior title was her second, following her previous victory in Lima, Peru, in 2015.
These encouraging performances had led to a buoyant Jin Wei boldly declaring that she had her sights set on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
She walked the talk by reaching three semi-finals in four World Tour starts between November 2018 and March 2019.
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.
But the stomach ailment eventually took its toll and she had to undergo a colectomy surgery to remove part of her colon in October 2019.
From then on, it was the start of the end for Jin Wei.
“It’s a shame that a player of such immense talent had to retire prematurely. But I believe she has done all she can before making the hard decision to call it quits,” said Seu Bock.
Seu Bock added that Jin Wei would have been a world top-10 player in the making had it not been for her health issue.
“She’s the best women’s singles player we’ve had since Wong Mew Choo. She’s top-10 material, there’s no doubt about it.
“Jin Wei has practically everything, among them is strength and intelligence. The only thing missing is her height.
“What a player she could have been.”