Zhiyi hungry for more titles after missing boat to Paris

China women’s singles shuttler Wang Zhiyi in action against compatriot Zhang Yiman during the semi-final match of Malaysian Masters at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on Saturday. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The disappointment of not qualifying for the Paris Olympics has ignited a strong determination in Wang Zhiyi to claim more titles.

World No. 7 Zhiyi accumulated 75,148 points to finish fourth among China’s women’s singles shuttlers behind Chen Yufei (102,596 points), He Bingjiao (76,274), and Han Yue (75,148) in the Road to Paris rankings.

Zhiyi finished runner-up in the Arctic Open last October before claiming titles in the Indonesian Masters (January) and Asian Championships (last month) but it was not enough to secure the qualification.

Despite her regret, Zhiyi believes that it has been a valuable experience throughout the one-year qualification period that ended last month.

“There is a tinge of regret but the ups and downs I faced during the qualification period have been incredibly valuable,” said the 24-year-old Zhiyi.

“I feel that my gradual improvement after going through a period of low tide last year is an affirmation of myself.

“Winning the title in the Asian Championships serves as further affirmation of my efforts and it made me more determined to continue my career.

“In the second half of the year, I see every match as an opportunity for personal growth and it would be ideal if I can win the titles.

“I am confident that I can extract valuable lessons from each match, contributing to my improvement.”

Zhiyi is only one step away from winning her third title of the year after reaching the final of the Malaysian Masters.

Zhiyi secured an easy 21-9, 21-11 victory over teammate and world No. 16 Zhang Yiman in the semi-finals yesterday to set up a meeting with India’s world No. 15 P. V. Sindhu in the final at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

“We are teammates, so we are familiar with each other’s game, but I think my overall performance was quite good as I was prepared for a tough match,” said Zhiyi.

“As for tomorrow’s (today’s) final, the desire to win naturally intensifies as we approach the decisive match.

“However, what holds greater important for me is concentrating on thorough preparation and delivering a strong performance during the match.”

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badminton , malaysia , masters


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