Eyeing glory for Malaysia
Article from the Sun daily by S. Indra Sathiabalan (posted on 4 October 2018)
PENANG-BORN badminton star Goh Jin Wei, 18, made her national debut in 2014, and won a bronze medal at the 2015 SEA Games.
Since then she has continued to move up the ranks, and is currently ranked 24th in the Women’s Singles World Rankings.
Surprisingly Goh, who has been a professional badminton player since she was nine years old, is the only one in her family who is into sports.
When did you take up badminton?
“I started playing badminton when I was six years old.
“Back then it was just for fun and for sweating purposes. But when I was seven my coach has let me take part in a state tournament and I won it.
“That is when I started taking this sport seriously and started training regularly in a systematic way.”
What was the first tournament you ever won?
“The first tournament that I won was the Penang Closed which is an age group tournament.
“I was not expected to win because the previous year, I was playing badminton just for fun and as a hobby.
“After winning the tournament I was selected as the youngest state player. So I got to train under the Penang Badminton Association at age seven.”
Who is your inspiration when it comes to badminton?
“Datuk Lee (Chong Wei) [is] my inspiration. I still remember when I watched the badminton finals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“He was so determined and showcased great sportsmanship.”
Who are your biggest fans?
“My parents, for sure. They [have] supported me since the start of my career.
“They sacrificed their time and money, and encouraged me whenever I was down. They accompanied me to every tournament when I was younger, but not these days because I travel overseas for tournaments more frequently now.”
When did you start taking up sport seriously, and how did it change your life?
“I started taking badminton more seriously when I felt I could go further in this field. I also started feeling more confident and enjoyed it whenever I’m on court.
“It also helped that I won my first group tournament at age seven. It definitely got me thinking: why not give it a try and push it to the limit.”
What is your schedule like? How do you balance school and badminton?
“It was hard when I had to train as an athlete and study at the same time when I was in secondary school.
“I did not go to school regularly and never sat for a school exam because of the tight tournament schedule. When I was sitting for my SPM last year, I only took off one month before the exams to study.
“For a full-time athlete, we train from 6.30am until 10.30am for the morning session. For the afternoon session, it will be from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.
“We get Sundays off. We train at Bukit Kiara Sports Complex.”
Do you have any other plans in the future that does not involve badminton?
“I dream of starting my own business after I retire. Or maybe run a badminton club to teach the kids how to play. But for now, I want to become a world class badminton player and not dwell too much on other stuff.”
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