Jin Wei aims for podium in Birmingham

KUALA LUMPUR: Goh Jin Wei is all fired up for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games which start next week.

Despite her hectic schedule, the 22-year-old women's singles wants to make a memorable debut by contributing a medal for Malaysia.

The two-time former world junior champion admitted that winning gold may be overly ambitious, but did not rule out the possibility of a podium finish.

When met at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport yesterday, Jin Wei, who had just arrived from Taiwan, said: "I am really tired because I just played in the Taiwan Open (quarter-finals) and today I'm here to travel with the team for the Commonwealth Games.

"However, I feel honoured to make the squad, and the support I have received just makes me forget everything else. Suddenly I don't feel so tired anymore.

"I really just want to try my best and contribute to the team because this will also be my Commonwealth Games debut," she said.

The independent shuttler, who made a U-turn on her retirement earlier this year, has been gradually improving in recent tournaments.

Since making her comeback as a professional this year, the world No 60 has done well to reach two top tier quarter-finals (Korea and Taiwan Open), and one semi-final at the Italian International last month.

Jin Wei, who had colectomy surgery in 2019, was also impressive at the Malaysia Masters earlier this month, when she stunned world No 16 Zhang Beiwen of the United States in the first round, before stretching world No 2 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan to the rubber in the second.

On whether these results meant anything to her Commonwealth preparation, the Penang-born said: "Yes, I'm definitely feeling good. I was also a little lucky to make the cut for the Malaysia Masters at the last minute.

"Playing in all these tournaments has given me a good sense of that tournament feel again.

"I am getting better, but I want my progress to be at my own pace. I don't want to rush things."

The 2017 Sea Games champion noted that India's P.V. Sindhu will be the one to beat for the Commonwealth gold, but also tipped players like world No 13 Michelle Li of Canada, Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour (No 18), Singapore's Yeo Jia Min (No 19) to be the dark horses.

Sylvia Ng was the only Malaysian to have won the women's singles gold at the Commonwealth Games, which she achieved in 1978 in Edmonton, Canada.

For this year's team event, Malaysia are grouped with South Africa, Jamaica and Zambia.

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