Badminton has a very special place among Malaysians. Considering our smallish population, its amazing that we do relatively well against the other nations. Due to our build, we can only succeed in games that are usually non-contact and those which favours a lower center of gravity and agility. Hence we are pretty awesome in squash, bowling, lawn bowling and badminton. Fergedabout football already!
We used to have great female players in badminton when Sylvia and Rosalind were at the top of their game. Its been some 30 years where we have always drawn a blank at tournaments for our female badminton players. Its a thing we never criticise or say much about cause since the Chinese women players came on the scene, its near impossible to dislodge them from the top 5, plus they are all near 6-footers. Hence this puts it into greater perspective what Wong Mew Choo has acheived. Its unbelievable. Hard to fluke it cause she had to beat a few of the highest ranked players to win.
On her way to the top, the 24-year-old Mew Choo came full circle as far as beating players from China is concerned when she put on an incredible show to beat defending champion and Athens Olympic winner Zhang Ning 21-16, 21-19 in a fiery 41-minute encounter. With her first ever victory over the lanky Zhang Ning in their eight meetings yesterday, Mew Choo, the world No. 8, now holds the record of having beaten every current top national Chinese women players.
Just a day ago, she sent world champion Zhu Lin packing in the quarter-finals. National coach Wong Tat Meng had only praises for his charge’s breakthrough performances. “I have been coaching her for three years. But now, I am proud to say that she has developed her own style of game. She has her own brand now. People use to call her a runner but today, she was attacking Zhang Ning and scoring points ... that was amazing,” said Tat Meng.
Indeed, Mew Choo’s determination showed throughout the match. She fought tooth and nail in a very tight first game that surprisingly saw the Malaysian making fewer mistakes than the nervous Zhang Ning. She has also learnt to make quick changes when things go wrong.
Wong Mew Choo won the China Open Super Series' women's singles in Guangzhou, China. She defeated world No. 1 Xie Xingfang of China, 21-16, 8-21, 21-17. It was Wong's first Open title in her badminton career. She pocketed US$17,250 (RM58,650) for her historic feat Sunday. Did she ever deserve this .... politicians, make your way to the airport for her return tomorrow, ok?