Young champ dares to think big

  • Community Sports
  • Tuesday, 25 Jun 2019

Shan Zi hopes to emulate Japan’s world number one Nozomi Ukuhara.

SHE may be only 12, but SJK (C) Union’s Oo Shan Zi already knows how to aim high.

The budding teenager hopes to be able to emulate Japan’s former badminton world number one Nozomi Okuhara.

The Year Six lass underlined her confidence after bagging a double in the Gosen-PBA Penang Under-10, Under-14 and Under-18 individual badminton challenge at the Penang BA hall in Bukit Dumbar.

She expressed surprise at having done this well since she was up against a tough field of shuttlers.

“Seriously, I never for a moment dared think of my feat being a reality,” said Shan Zi shortly after the prize presentation.

“I was merely hoping to make the cut to the finals. Winning was a bonus because I was featured in an age-group of a higher category,” she said.

She attributed her success to having a good doubles partner in Christine Lam Mei Hee.

With one title from the 21-10, 21-18 victory in the bag as a bolster, she said having a second seeded tag to live up to at the second final showdown in the girl’s Under-14 doubles final, gave them the drive.

“I am glad we did it and believe me, it was just by the skin of our teeth that we won.

“It could be that we were up against our clubmates that we eventually trooped out 22-20, 20-22, 21-12 winners over Lim Zhi Shing and Nicoles Tan,” she said.

Shan Zi was not the only double finisher at the recent tournament. Also achieving a grand double finish was her statemate Heng Jay Horng, who won in the boy’s Under-10 singles and doubles.

State coach Razlan Abdullah explained that the state squad had no allocations for the doubles category.

“It was decided that Jay Horng be allowed to find his own partner for the doubles.

“All these players who won are state players, except for Under-14 singles player S’ng Wei Ming, who pulled out of the state squad due to certain constrains.

“Shan Zi was given the blessings to play for her club Han Boon Badminton Academy only because we did not allocate our players to feature in a higher age group like the Under-14 when they are only meant to feature in the Under-12 age group category,” said Razlan.

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