DOUBLES shuttler Teo Ee Yi was beaming with pride when the country’s elite player Tan Boon Heong went into the Guinness Book of World Records as the player with the fastest smash.
And it has given Ee Yi a lot of motivation to become a star performer too.
“Boon Heong is my favourite player. He is fast and plays smart on court. I just like his style. I was really happy for him when he won that award. When I hit 20, I want to be a top player, just like him,” said the 17-year-old Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) student.
The talented Ee Yi showed good speed and combined well with Nelson Heg Wei Keat to beat compatriots Tan Kah Zhan-Tan Wee Tat 21-17, 21-12 in a 22-minute second-round boys’ doubles match yesterday.
The third-fourth seeded Ee Yi-Nelson will take on Thailand’s Apisuk Akrawin-Apisuk Inkarat in the third round today and hopes are high on them to go far in the tournament.
“Our goal is to reach at least the semi-finals but it will be a big breakthrough for us if we make it to the final,” said Ee Yi.
It could be an all-Malaysian affair if Ow Yao Han-Yew Hong Kheng live up to their top billing from the other half of the draw.
Asian junior runners-up Yao Han-Hong Kheng crushed Ahzam Mohamed-Shiyam Rishwan of the Maldives 21-4, 21-1 in 10 minutes yesterday to reach the third round.
Ee Yi added that he had only taken serious interest in the sport after being rapped for his playfulness when he joined the BJSS five years ago.
“Now, badminton comes first than anything else for me. I tried out in both the singles and doubles for some time but it is only the doubles for me now,” said the Johorean. “I have a good partner. We do discuss a lot about our combination. Hopefully, we can go far in our careers.”
For the record, Ee Yi’s and Nelson’s best achievements since forging a combination a year ago was winning the Under-18 title of a junior championships in Thailand last year.