PETALING JAYA: A semi-final finish in the Hong Kong Open is a timely reminder for Goh Jin Wei to keep going.
It marked her best result in an individual competition this year after suffering early-round exits in all the 16 tournaments that she participated in so far.
World No. 34 Jin Wei stole the limelight when she pulled off a major upset, beating China’s world No. 9 Han Yue 12-21, 21-17, 21-18 in the last eight on Friday but her brave run came to an end after losing in straight games to Zhang Yiman in the semis.
She had made an impressive start by coming from behind to stun Denmark’s world No. 25 Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt in the first round before receiving a walkover from world No. 7 Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the second.
The win against Han Yue was her biggest since stunning India’s 2019 world champion P.V. Sindhu in a group stage match in the Sudirman Cup in May.
Jin Wei, who is on the comeback trail after recovering from her stomach ailment, sees her triumph over Han Yue as a small reward for the sacrifices she has made to continue playing competitively.
“I do think of it as a small reward ... I had so many first-round defeats and faced a lot of difficulties,” said the 23-year-old, who had to undergo a colectomy surgery to remove part of her colon in 2019, in a post-match interview with Badminton World Federation (BWF).
“I’ve had to remind myself to keep going. I’m staying calm and trying to implement what I had learned from the previous matches, I’m still in the process of adapting.
“My biggest takeaway from these testing four years is to keep going. We must create our own motivation.
“Although there were many challenges to get through, I just kept trying. One day, I know the rewards will come.”
Jin Wei’s outing in Hong Kong is a huge boost as she shifts her focus to the Hangzhou Asian Games from Sept 23-Oct 8.
Jin Wei and several other independent shuttlers will join a one-week centralised training with Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) players starting tomorrow in preparation for the Games.