KUALA LUMPUR: Goh Giap Chin (pic) is the shortest shuttler in the men’s singles back-up squad but not having an ideal height for the game has not stopped him from aiming high.
The 19-year-old, who stands at 165cm, has thrown himself a challenge – to break into the senior ranks within two years.
After going through a tough time in his transition year from Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) to the national team under Hendrawan last year, Giap Chin is now looking forward to his first tournament this year – the Iran International Challenge from Feb 14-17.
And he will even sacrifice his Chinese New Year celebration with his family to give his badminton career top priority.
“This is the first time I will be missing the Chinese New Year with my family. My parents, however, are supportive. They told me that badminton should be my main goal now. They are, however, coming from Penang to send me off. I think that’s great,” said Giap Chin, who will leave on Feb 10, the first day of Chinese New Year.
“I hope all the sacrifices will take me far in my badminton career. I want to win titles. But if I can’t break into the world stage just like Lee Chong Wei in the next two years, I will look at other options.
“I may want to further my studies overseas or I may go into business with my father,” said Giap Chin.
For now, Giap Chin, who won the Dutch and German Under-18 boys’ singles titles in 2011, is grateful that he had been given a chance to prove himself in the back-up squad.
“There are many more players who are taller than me but I consider myself quite lucky to be in the team. Some felt that I would make a better doubles player but I want to give the singles a shot. I have beaten higher ranked players in our national team before,” he said.
The world No. 181 was twice a winner over Misbun Ramdan Misbun – at the Malaysian International Challenge and Malaysia Games (Sukma) last year – before the latter went on to win the national title in December.
Giap Chin said he was in the process of adding more variations to his game to become a better player.
“I used to be a very straight-forward player. Coach Hendrawan is now adding more bite to my game. Hopefully, all these will help me to transform into a better player.”
Besides Giap Chin, the others in the back-up squad are Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Goh Soon Huat, Nur Mohd Azriyn Ayub, Loh Wei Sheng, Tan Kian Meng and Choong Yee Han.