PETALING JAYA: While other varsity students were out having fun in the sun during the summer holidays, the Ng sisters of Hui Lin-Hui Ern continued to conscientiously work on their game during training in Stadium Juara.
And yesterday, their hard work was rewarded with a place in the women’s doubles final at the Vietnam Open Grand Prix Gold in Ho Chi Minh City.
But the duo did it the hard way, hauling themselves back from a first game defeat to overcome Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk-Busanan Ongbumrungpan 18-21, 21-14, 21-10 in a 55-minute semi-final match.
The Malaysian pair’s more significant win had been achieved in the quarter-finals – when they defeated Japan’s Eto Rie-Yu Wakita 21-18, 22-20.
Hui Lin-Hui Ern, the world No. 35, will be up against Indonesia’s Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta in the final.
The 22-year-old Hui Lin, who has just completed her first year studies in economics at the University of Loughborough in the United Kingdom together with her younger sister, was thrilled to reach their second final this year.
They won the Austria International Open in February.
“It is great to be in the final again after so many months. We played well today but our turning point was against the Japanese in the quarter-finals.
“The Japanese are hard-working and we really had to dig deep into our reserves to get past them,” said Hui Lin in a telephone interview.
“My sister and I returned home for our summer break after completing our first year in June.
“We are doing the same course and we also share the same room ... and this summer, we decided to forgo the holidays.
“So we joined the national team in training. We used to devote about three hours to badminton at varsity but here we trained for about five hours daily. We don’t mind because we love badminton.”
Hui Lin and Hui Ern have made a special deal with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), which allows them to join the national team’s training during their three-month summer break.
On today’s final, Hui Lin said: “The Indonesians are the favourites but we are quietly confident of turning the tables on them.”
There was mixed fortunes for Malaysia in the mixed doubles when national No. 3 Ong Jian Guo-Lim Yin Loo failed to join Tan Aik Huang-Lai Pei Jing in the final.
Jian Guo-Yin Loo had a brilliant start but still went down 21-10, 15-21, 18-21 to Markis Kido-Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth of Indonesia.
Aik Huang-Pei Jing, touted as the next big stars after Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, finally showed some zest in their game to pull off a sensational 23-21, 22-20 win over Fran Kurniawan-Shendy Pushpa Irawati of Indonesia and a place in their first final.