KUALA LUMPUR: With the national women’s singles department scouting for new stars, the time is right for Tee Jing Yee to soar high in her last Asian Junior Championships, which will begin at the Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara on Sunday.
She stands a good chance to be considered for next year’s Uber Cup Finals if she can end her junior career on a high.
In the absence of Julia Wong due to a knee injury, Malaysia are hard-pressed to build a solid team for the Finals, which will be held here next year.
Currently, Malaysia’s hopes are pinned on Wong Mew Choo and Lydia Cheah.
Malaysia are in need of two more good players from the back-up squad, consisting of Jing Yee, Sannatasah Saniru, Stephanie Shalini Sukumaran, Ooi Swee Wern, Florah Ng and Ng Sin Zou.
After thrice failing to come good in the Asian meet, the 18-year-old Jing Yee is now ready to take the bull by its horn.
“I am the most experienced singles player in the Asian meet squad. My best outing, however, has been only a quarter-final finish in 2007. This time, I want to go at least one step better,” said Jing Yee.
“The irony is that I have done better in the doubles than singles in the Asian meet. I reached the doubles semi-finals with Lydia last year. This time, I am only focusing on the singles.”
Jing Yee, the 2008 National Schools (MSSM) champion, went through a topsy-turvy time last year.
Due to poor form in several tournaments, she was not even named in the elite back-up squad. But it did not break her spirit.
“I am more determined than ever to show that I have what it takes to do well in badminton. I want to remember this year as one of the best in my junior career. It is time to show that I am ready for the senior stage,” said the Penangite.
The National Schools (MSSM) Under-18 champion last year, however, faces a big test en route to making a breakthrough in the Asian meet.
She is expected to take on Thailand’s 14-year-old Ratchanok Intanon, who is seeded second, or China’s Jia Wei in the third round.
Intanon came close to toppling Indonesian Open champion Saina Nehwal in the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold in Johor Baru last month.
Besides Jing Yee, the other girls in the singles fray are Sonia Cheah, Florah, Yang Li Lian, Ng Sin Er and Sin Zou.
The individual events will start on Wednesday but the mixed team event will begin tomorrow.
And Jing Yee, who is being counted on to take at least a point in the girls’ singles, has promised to deliver.