PETALING JAYA: Teenager Aifa Azman wants to make a winning debut at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.
The 15-year-old was part of the Malaysian team that finished second in the girls’ team event at the World Junior Championships in Tauranga, New Zealand, last week.
In the individual event, the two-time British Junior Open winner reached the last 16 before losing to second seed Zeina Mickawy of Egypt.
At the Games from Aug 19-30, Aifa will play in the team event with Andrea Lee, Zoe Foo and Ooi Kah Yan. Aifa will also play in the women’s doubles with Rachel Arnold.
Aifa believes the team event is the best chance for her to win the gold.
“Finishing second at the world juniors was a good result but I want to achieve the feeling of winning the gold.
“I feel we have a strong team for the Games. And with the home support, I’m confident of victory,” said the Kedahan.
On the women’s doubles, Aifa said: “I’m a bit worried as we hardly have doubles training. And I don’t have much time to train with Rachel in the run-up to the Games.”
Rachel is now competing at the World Doubles Championships in Manchester, England, where her partner is Nicol David.
On the world juniors, Aifa said it was an eye-opening experience for her.
“I learned a lot and the experience will do me good. Overall I’m quite happy with my results. It was only my second world juniors and the first time I played in the team event,” said Aifa.
With teammates – 18-year-olds S. Sivasangari, Andrea and Zoe – all overaged, Aifa is expected to lead Malaysia’s charge at next year’s world juniors.
“I can still compete in four more editions. I’m certainly looking forward to be part of a new team next year,” said Aifa.