KUALA LUMPUR: World rankings aside, Goh Jin Wei is technically Malaysia's best bet for a medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games later this month.
The 23-year-old proved this today when she took a game off world No 2 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan before succumbing 16-21, 21-7, 21-9 in the second round of the Malaysia Masters at Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.
Despite not being in her best shape since her colectomy surgery in 2019, the Penang-born women's singles shuttler admitted that she can still fight for a podium finish at the Commonwealth Games, given her current form.
"Yes, the target is for a podium finish at the Commonwealth Games since I made the cut. However, I still have a lot to improve on before the competition.
"I am happy with where I am right now after playing some of these top players. I feel like I can keep up with their speed, although there is still a huge gap between us.
"I am actually looking forward to the Commonwealth Games as it will be my debut appearance," said Jin Wei, who upset world No 16 Zhang Beiwen of the United States in the first round on Wednesday.
Apart from her win over world No 23 Line Christophersen of Denmark in the Uber Cup in May, Jin Wei, who turned pro in January, also took top players like Thailand's world No 8 Ratchanok Intanon and China's world No 11 Wang Zhi Yi to three games this year.
On whether she needs any assistance from the BA of Malaysia (BAM) or the National Sports Council (NSC) to push her further in her career, Jin Wei added: "It really depends on them. When I made the decision to turn professional, I was already prepared to work on my own.
"We have our own resources, so we can't say we need this now.
"However, it will surely be a bonus if they help, and I would truly appreciate any form of assistance.
"Right now, as the sole women's singles player outside the national setup, I train with other professionals like Cheam June Wei and Soong Joo Ven. It's a good environment.
"I sense the feeling is slowly coming back, and I am on my way up. I do accept my condition and will carry on."
Malaysia last won the women's singles title at the Commonwealth Games through Sylvia Ng in 1978, while Wong Mew Choo was the last Malaysian medallist (silver) — at the 2010 New Delhi Games.