“I WILL focus on my preparations for the SEA Games first. Then I’ll think about my badminton future.”
This was women’s singles shuttler Tee Jing Yi’s statement after losing in the first round of her maiden World Championships in the Tianhe Gymnasium on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old Jing Yi showed the good and bad sides of her game – combining good shots with some sloppy ones – en route to losing 21-17, 21-17 to Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi.
With her exit, Malaysia’s challenge in the women’s singles is over.
The last time a Malaysian women’s singles shuttler put up a strong showing was when former international Wong Mew Choo did well in the 2007 World Championships in Kuala Lumpur when she dumped world champion Xie Xingfang of China to reach the quarter-finals.
Jing Yi, who was Malaysia’s lone women’s singles representative following Sonia Cheah’s withdrawal through injury two weeks ago, said that she was positive throughout the match.
“I could follow her pace but I didn’t have good finishing. After losing focus at the Singapore Open and Malaysian Open GP Gold, I would say that this was one of my better performances,” she said.
“The only good point that I can take home from here is my positive attitude on court. I must thank Germany’s Juliane Schenk for that as we trained together for a month leading to this event.”
With hardly any outstanding results from her so far, Jing Yi said she would wait until after the SEA Games in Myanmar in December before re-looking her direction in the sport.
Asked if she would consider playing in the women’s doubles, she said: “I’ve been told to switch to doubles many times … but, for now, let me focus on the SEA Games.”
Jing Yi and Sonia are the only top two singles players in the team after Lydia Cheah quit the sport recently. The future of women’s singles does look quite bleak, indeed.