SEVEN months ago, Amanda Yap felt the pain of rejection after she was deemed not good enough for the national team.
Yesterday, the 18-year-old from the Federal Territories sent a strong message to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) by dumping top seed Eoon Qi Xuan of Perak out of the Malaysia Games (Sukma).
Amanda came from behind to win the second-round match 18-21, 21-17, 27-25 in 54 minutes at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.
The Sukma debutant was delighted with the biggest scalp of her career so far.
“I’m so happy to get this breakthrough win as I have never reached the quarter-finals of a tournament before.
“Previously, in the Under-18 and Under-21 national championships, I was also pitted against the top seeds in the early rounds and lost both times. So, it feels great to finally win this time,” said Amanda.
The youngster, who currently trains full time at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Association, also feels that her decision to not give up on the sport after being rejected by the BAM was vindicated.
“My family and friends told me to quit and continue my studies. But I felt that I can study at any age. I love the sport a lot and didn’t want to give up even though I was rejected. I feel like my decision is starting to pay off,” explained Amanda.
She will next play Sabah’s Casey Rynn in the quarter-finals as she eyes a medal.
“I really want a medal in this Games. Hopefully, BAM will consider selecting me if I do,” said Amanda.
Meanwhile, the other quarter-final matches will see second seed Myisha Khairul of Johor taking on Selangor’s K. Letshanaa, third seed Siti Nurshuhaini Azman also of Selangor facing Melaka’s Siti Zulaikha Azmi and Federal Territories’ Ong Xin Yee playing Johor’s Tan Zhing Yi.
In men’s singles, top seed Ng Tze Yong of Johor cruised into the last eight after dispatching Perak’s Anson Cheong 21-8, 21-15.
Tze Yong should have little trouble overcoming Pahang’s Chia Jeng Hon today.