Jin Wei recovering well for SEA Games, says Choong Hann

Jin Wei is listed in the 20-member SEA Games squad. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is confident Goh Jin Wei will be fit in time for the SEA Games in the Philippines this November.

BAM Coaching Director Wong Choong Hann said the 2017 SEA Games women’s singles gold medallist has shown good progress in her rehabilitation phase from injury.

He said there should not be any concerns regarding the 19-year-old’s fitness as she was continuing with her own fitness programme, and sometimes even joined with other national trainees on court.

“Jin Wei has started training on court and her recovery progress has been good. We are happy with what we have been hearing from the doctor. And that is why we have listed her in the squad as her chance of full recovery to compete in the SEA Games is very good.

“At the moment, Jin Wei is undergoing systematic training with enough intensity to bounce back,” he said when met at the TEAM Malaysia media conference at the National Sports Complex (NSC) here today.

The two-time world national junior champion was listed in the 20-member SEA Games squad in the hope of meeting Malaysia’s two-gold target, including retaining her singles gold medal, won in Kuala Lumpur two years ago.

Questions were asked when the Penang-born player, ranked 34th in the world, took a long break from international competitions and high intensity training sessions, after having played her last tournament in the Sudirman Cup in China last May.

Meanwhile, Choong Hann said BAM was aware of the threat posed by players from Thailand and Indonesia this time around but added it was difficult to predict who among them will be in their respective squads in the Philippines.

Therefore, it was better for the national squad to focus on their own mental and physical preparations, he said.

“We have targeted two gold medals and that is what we will strive for. We won the women’s singles gold last time around, and we hope Jin Wei will recover fully to strengthen the squad.

“Our men’s and mixed doubles pairs are also capable of giving a good fight and men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia is also in the list of medal hopefuls. We can prepare our team, but we cannot predict our competition,” he said.

Also within a shot for a medal are the women’s doubles pair Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen, who showed they can match the Thais and Indonesians.

Hoo admits that the national pair have an equal chance if they faced the Thai and Indonesian pairs.

Hoo, who partners Yap Cheng Wen, said she was optimistic of causing an upset to reclaim the gold medal the pair won in the 2013 and 2015 editions.

But Choong Hann also cautions that the Singaporean shutters were no pushovers either.

During the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland recently, Singapore women’s single player Yeo Jia Min sent shock waves in the badminton world when she upset world number one, Akane Yamaguchi in the first round and progressed all the way to the quarterfinals.

Men’s singles player Loh Kean Yew shocked Indian player Sameer Verma in the first round before going down in the third round to Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan.