KUALA LUMPUR: National woman singles shuttler Wong Mew Choo made a lasting impression in Guangzhou three years ago when she emerged as the China Open champion.
And Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) high performance director Datuk James Selvaraj wants the seasoned campaigner to draw inspiration from that success when she competes in the Guangzhou Asian Games next week.
Mew Choo is the only experienced hand in the Malaysian women’s team in this year’s Asiad challenge.
The others – Lydia Cheah, Tee Jing Yi, Sannatasah Saniru, Woon Khe Wei-Marylen Ng Paou Leng, Vivian Hoo-Lim Yin Loo and Goh Liu Ying – are all first-timers.
James hopes that Mew Choo will be able to raise her game in the more competitive Asiad.
“She will have a tough time in the Asian Games but she should not lose heart,” said James.
“She pulled off the impossible to win the China Open a few years ago. I hope she will give her best and raise her game to another level.
“The China Open should be a reminder of what she is capable of.”
On Mew Choo’s condition, James said: “Coach Wong Tat Meng has given a good review of Mew Choo’s condition. She is in a better shape physically.
“She came very close to pulling the rug from under Saina (Nehwal, of India) in the women’s singles final of the Commonwealth Games. In the Asiad, China are the favourites. I just hope that she will continue to show her fighting spirit.”
Mew Choo will play the winner of the match between Salakjit Ponsana of Thailand and Adriyanti Firdasari of Indonesia in the second round.
The others in her half are Japan’s Eriko Hirose, South Korean Bae Yeonju and China’s top seed Wang Xin.
In the bottom half, Saina will be out to get the better of China’s Wang Shixian, Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin and Malaysia’s Lydia to reach the final.
Malaysia last won a medal in the singles through Sylvia Ng at the 1970 Bangkok Asian Games.
With all new faces in the other events, it will be almost impossible to expect Malaysia to win any medals in the team and doubles events.