PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Sabrina Chong (pic) is still in a daze over her last-minute inclusion in the team for the Uber Cup Finals.
Sabrina got the nod over Lim Yin Loo as the replacement for Goh Liu Ying, who was ruled out on Monday because of a knee injury.
And Liu Ying's pain is Sabrina's gain. The 21-year-old, who had resigned herself to being a sparring doubles partner in centralised training at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, will be on the flight to Jakarta in two weeks' time.
I did not make the team but the chief coach (Yap Kim Hock) called me yesterday and informed me that I am in the squad as one of the doubles players.
I still do not believe I am going. It is a dream come true to be in the Malaysian team for the Uber Cup Finals, said the Petaling Jaya-born player from the national back-up squad.
Sabrina forms a doubles combination with Amelia Anscelly and their better results were reaching the Macau Open quarter-finals and Malaysian Satellite Open semi-finals over the past year. She also plays in the mixed doubles, partnering Mohd Razif Abdul Latif.
For the Uber Cup, Sabrina will be listed as the third ranked pair with Woon Khe Wei. The top two Malaysian pairs are Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty and Lim Pek Siah-Ng Hui Lin.
I have to say thank you to Kim Hock for selecting me. I am also sorry for Liu Ying, who has to miss out on a golden opportunity because of injury, she said.
Malaysia's strong showing in the qualifying rounds in Vietnam in February where they finished third earned them the fourth seed in the Finals ahead of Indonesia.
China, who have been unbeaten since 1998, are the top seeds followed by Japan and South Korea.
However, it will not be an easy task for the Malaysian women to reach the semi-finals. They have been drawn in Group C with Denmark and New Zealand.
The teams for them to beat in the quarter-finals could be Hong Kong, South Korea or Germany.