KUALA LUMPUR: Once a force to be reckoned with, women's singles Goh Jin Wei is not complaining about the long road she has to take to become a top player again.
Today, after being promoted from the reserve list at the eleventh hour, the two-time former world junior champion scored a 21-10, 21-17 win over India's Malvika Bansod to reach the main draw of the Super 500 Malaysia Masters at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.
Jin Wei, 23, who left the BA of Malaysia (BAM) late last year, admitted that it has not been easy on her playing career, especially since her colectomy surgery in 2019.
"After my surgery I only had two options, to have a stomach bag which would have ended my career, or a lifestyle change and medication. I chose the latter because I wanted to continue playing.
"However, it has not been easy, the diet has changed, and physically, I sometimes do not feel like a normal human being with this lifestyle. I only have one meal a day.
"For me, I have to start from zero, but I'm happy to be here. Hopefully, I will get to put on a good show for the fans," said Jin Wei, who will face Zhang Beiwen of the United States tomorrow in the first round.
In the 2019 edition, Jin Wei defeated the likes of current world No 1 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan and China's He Bingjiao to reach the semi-finals before succumbing to eventual champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
Meanwhile, it was a good day for BAM's Ng Tze Yong and Leong Jun Hao, who reached the tournament proper following two wins each in the qualifying round.
Jun Hao scored one of the biggest upsets of the day when he defeated world No 50 Wong Hong Yang of China 5-21, 21-17, 21-13. In the first match, Jun Hao defeated his former national teammate Cheam June Wei 16-21, 21-15, 21-16.
"I know people have compared Hong Yang to the great Lin Dan following his big wins this year, and perhaps he wasn't in his best shape.
"This win today has boosted my confidence," said Jun Hao, who was only promoted to the qualifying round at the last minute following several withdrawals.
Jun Hao will take on Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen in the first round tomorrow.
Tze Yong defeated independent shuttler Yeoh Seng Zoe (21-12, 21-13) and South Korea's Lee Dong Keun (21-8, 21-12) and takes on Canada's Brian Yang in the first round.
Soong Joo Ven set a date with China's Li Shi Feng tomorrow following wins over BAM's Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin (14-21, 21-14, 21-16) and Denmark's Victor Svendsen (21-9, 16-21, 21-10).