Rise Up, the next Malaysian Star

2018-04-17

 
 
 

Malaysia national team has earned a great reputation of powerful badminton house; however, the team is still waiting for the next superstars. Let’s meet with the Malaysian rising talents through VICTOR special feature “Rise Up”. 

马来西亚羽毛球国家队历代人才辈出,世界舞台上不乏发光发热的大马顶尖球员,羽球更被视为马来西亚国球,但谁会是下一个大马新星呢?本次Rise Up特辑将为大家介绍这批不可忽视的大马新势力。

 
 
 
 
 
“Badminton is all I got. There’s no any chance to lose.” Lee Zii Jia
「羽毛球是我的一生志业,没有退路」  - 李梓嘉

 

Lee Zii Jia, a twenty-year-old boy who reaches a height of 187 centimeters. With good strength and big size, Zii Jia is regarded as the next Malaysian Men’s Singles hope. In 2017, he won the first title in his career at Polish International and reached semifinals at Grand Prix Golds thrice. His world ranking had increased from 240 to 42. Eventually, Zii Jia was nominated for BWF Most Promising Player of the year (Eddy Choong Award).

 

“It was an incredible year for me. I played well at the beginning, but I was not able to keep the performance. From top to down, then back to the top. The experience was priceless, which helped my mental ability be stronger,” said Zii Jia.

 

Dato Lee Chong Wei has been No.1 Malaysian Men’s singles shuttler for a long time. Zii Jia has been expected to be the one who is able to inherit it; however, the pressure has come together with the expectation. Zii Jia faced the pressure confidently and said “no matter how the fans comment on me, I always let it be a reminder. It reminds me that ‘I haven’t reached the top yet. I should work harder.’”

 

In order to compete with the top players, Zii Jia thought he needs to enrich his stamina, stability, and coordination. He aims to be the top 20 in 2018.

 

“I wish to be an all-around and unique shuttler in the future,” said Lee Zii Jia. The youngster had a firm belief in his badminton career. As he said “Badminton is all I got. There’s no any chance to lose.”

 

 

 

刚满20岁的李梓嘉拥有187公分的高挑身形,杰出的身材条件被视为马来西亚下一个男单希望。去年他在波兰夺下国际赛首冠、五站职业赛闯进四强,排名一举从240名跃升到42名,更入选BWF年度最佳新秀,缴出漂亮的成绩单。

 

「去年是我完全没想象过的一年,从高到低,再慢慢爬起来,对我的心理强度帮助很大。」

 

李宗伟后马来西亚一直在等待一个能接班的男单球员,李梓嘉被寄予厚望,但随之而来的压力成为他的另一个课题。赢球时球迷热情追捧,输球时则须面对排山倒海的指教,对此李梓嘉展现超龄的成熟,「球迷对我的留言不管好坏我都会看,我把它当作一种提醒,时时提醒着我『你还不是最好的球员,必须更加努力』」。

 

2018年他为自己立下世界前20的目标,要能与顶尖高手抗衡,稳定性、体能及协调性都是必须再加强的重点。

 

「我希望未来能成为一位拥有独特个性的全面球员。」受访时李梓嘉口条清晰,侃侃而谈,让人感受到他的自信及对羽球之路的坚定。年纪轻轻的他已将羽球视为一生志业,不给自己任何退路,全力往前迈进。

 
 
 
 
 
“No matter ups and downs, I want to be the one who delivers the positive energy.” Goh Jin Wei
「不论成绩好坏,我都想成为正能量的球员」- 吴堇溦

 

Goh Jin Wei, a genius shuttler was selected to be a member of Malaysia national team when she was only fourteen. Furthermore, she captured the Women’s Singles national title at the age of fifteen. In 2015, Jin Wei won the first champion in her career at Belgian international and t took the crown at World Junior Championships. It was the first Women’s Singles World Junior Champion for Malaysia; hence “Goh Jin Wei” became a household name in her hometown.

 

Due to Jin Wei’s great performance and outgoing personality, many Malaysian became a big fan of her. With great popularity and talent, she is expected to be one of the top players in the world.

 

Unexpectedly, Jin Wei performed ups and downs in 2016. She had missed some big events owing to the ankle injury; nonetheless, the girl stayed strong and returned even stronger. She earned a silver medal at Taipei Open after recovery.

 

Unfortunately, she broke her ankle once again which made the girl tear on the court. However, Jin Wei performed a great comeback. She lifted the Women’s Singles title at 2017 Southeast Asian Games. It was the first gold medal for Malaysia in the last 14 years. In 2018, Jin Wei kept good form and her world ranking climbed to the highest point, No.26.

 

“My performance was quite unstable last year. I really appreciated that I could perform well in the end. I hope I can do better this year,” said Jin Wei. To be a top shuttler, she needs more experience and enhancing the stamina and endurance.

 

In this competitive world, being positive is Jin Wei’s self-expectation. “No matter ups and downs, I want to be the one who delivers the positive energy. Be optimistic and energetic to fight until the last second.”

 

 

 

天才型好手吴堇溦14岁就被选入国家队,15岁就称霸国内公开赛,随即又在比利时夺下国际赛首冠,该年(2015)年底更在世青赛封后,成为马来西亚羽球史上首位青少年女单世界冠军,在大马造成一股轰动。2016年底,16岁的她以世界排名32位正式登上马来西亚女单一姊。个性活泼、开朗的她也累积众多粉丝,未来性与人气都备受看好。

 

但来年吴堇溦却迎来生涯起伏最大的一年,年初的脚踝伤势让她错过了几个梦寐以求的大赛,复出后状态虽逐渐回温,勇夺台北公开赛亚军,没想到七月再度伤到脚踝,场上落泪的画面至今还让人记忆犹新。但正向的她持续努力复健,年底又在东南亚运动会为马来西亚留下睽违14年的女单金牌,2018年初也在大赛中陆续缴出好表现,排名重回个人最高的26名。

 

「去年的起伏真的很大,很幸运年尾的时候能够打出好成绩,希望今年的表现能比去年好。」要再更上一层楼,大赛经验必须用时间换取,但身材矮小的她更要提升体能与耐力。此外,气势也是学习重点,「我希望在场上能够再霸气、兴奋一点,带给对手压迫感。」

 

在排名与胜负的竞争中生活,在学业与羽球中力求平衡,「正能量」是她对自己的期许,「我希望自己在场上全力拚搏,场下保持自己的开放性格。不论成绩好坏,我都想成为传递正能量的球员。」
 
 
 
 
 
 
“I hope Leong Jun Hao will be a remarkable name one day.” Leong Jun Hao
「我希望有一天,梁峻豪这个名字会印在大家脑海里」- 梁峻豪

 

In early 2018, a rising star from Malaysia had reached finals at both Thailand Masters and Finnish Open. This young man was well-prepared. He eventually won the champion in Finland and finished as the runner-up in Bangkok eventually. He is Leong Jun Hao.

 

Jun Hao was not only the third Malaysian Men’s Singles champion at Asia Junior Championships but also the silver medalist at World Junior Championships. “I thought my career as a junior shuttler was not bad,” said Jun Hao, a modest boy. In finals of World Junior Championships, he firstly led the game but failed to close it. “The loss makes me realize that even a second of distraction is not available during the game,” said Jun Hao.

 

As a professional shuttler, Jun Hao had a bright start in his career. He just captured a title at Finnish Open last week. He was the runner-up at 2017 Malaysia International Challenge and 2018 Thailand Masters respectively. “I will try my best to keep my form in every tournament. As I do so, the world ranking will rise,” said Jun Hao.

 

The dream of this shy boy is to be a gold medalist at Olympics. Although it’s still too early for him to be a powerful competitor at Olympics field, daring to dream has always been the very first step in making the dream come true. “I hope Leung Jun Hao will be a remarkable name one day,” said Jun Hao.

 

 

 

年初的泰国大师赛让人看见一颗大马新星的升起,18岁的梁峻豪一路从资格赛杀到冠军战,最终用亚军为自己的2018年写下一个不可思议的序页。

 

梁峻豪去年在青少年赛场大有斩获,先在亚青男单封王,成为大马史上第三位亚青男单冠军,世青赛则在冠军赛才败给泰国头号种子Kunlavut Vitidsarn,收获亚军。「回顾自己的青少年生涯成绩是觉得还可以的。」梁峻豪腼腆地说。但他也坦言世青决赛从领先到败北至今仍觉得可惜,「但这也让我学到即使领先也不能放松。」

 

梁峻豪在去年底的马来西亚国际挑战赛和今年初的泰国大师赛都打下亚军,上周更在芬兰夺下首座成人赛冠军,职业生涯写下亮眼开局。对于2018年的目标,他不改平稳的性格,「希望从每一站做起,每一站都打好排名自然就会上升。」

 

受访时总是带点内敛的他在谈及羽球梦想时,毫不犹豫地坚定回答「奥运冠军」,虽然奥运冠军目前来说对他还很遥远,但敢于立下目标、敢于逐梦,梦想才有可能有实现的一天。「我希望有一天,梁峻豪这个名字会印在大家脑海里。」

 
 
 
 
 
“I’ll always be myself, the one who never gives up.” Lee Ying Ying
「我会一直做那个在场上永不放弃的李盈盈」- 李盈盈

 

Lee Ying Ying has earned the reputation for her hardworking and fighting spirit in spite of having the least attention between these young talents.

 

The badminton journey starts at the age of eight for Ying Ying. Ying Ying’s family has been the greatest support behind her back. “My parents are busy; however, they facilitate and support me with all their efforts. That’s why I can play badminton without any concern,” said Ying Ying.

 

In 2017, Ying Ying suffered an injury to the left foot. She was used to depressing by the injury, but she could think positive about her recovery this time. The smiley girl said, “It was a chance for me to overcome the weakness, and then start again with full energy.”

 

In 2018, Ying Ying defeated Japanese Aya Ohori to reach quarterfinals at Malaysia Masters. The battle between the Olympics gold medalist Carolina Marin in quarterfinals was intensive. Although she was beaten by Marin, Ying Ying proved that she is capable to compete with the top shuttlers. The match has been an impressive moment in her career.

 

Off the badminton court, Ying Ying is quite an introvert. “It’s not easy for me to communicate with others unless I am familiar with the person,” said Ying Ying. The personality also influences her performance, “I think I’m too gentle to play badminton. I need to learn how to play imposingly,” said Ying Ying.

 

To be a top shuttler, hard-working is necessary but perseverance and determination are the keys to be great. Ying Ying is filled with the strong consciousness. The young talent said “I’ll always be myself, the one who never gives up. And, I wish to be the top 30 this year.”

 

 

 

或许不如前面三位选手受注目,但李盈盈凭借着不服输的毅力,一步步打出属于自己的成绩。

 

「我比较内向,不太会跟别人沟通,除非是很熟悉的人。」李盈盈说这也多少影响到自己在场上的表现,「样子看起来太善良了。」她笑说要想办法找出杀气才行。

 

李盈盈的羽球路因缘际会在8岁时展开,当时爸爸只是带着她与哥哥去家里附近球馆运动,被教练看上才正式投入训练。家人更是她一路走来的支柱,「爸妈其实都很忙,但不论再忙他们都尽全力培育我、支持我,是我羽球路上最大的动力。」

 

身为运动员不免受到伤病困扰,李盈盈去年伤到左脚,过去心情会难以平复的她,这次已能转念面对,「觉得是上天给我一个机会去强化我不足的地方,然后重新再出发。」

 

年初的大马大师赛李盈盈打出职业生涯代表作,击败日本好手大崛彩闯进第三轮,八强赛与奥运金牌马琳也激战53分钟才落败,为她打了一剂强心针。

 

技术或体能必须靠努力来提升,而拚劲与意志则是来自于选手自我意识,李盈盈对这部分的自我十足要求,「我会一直做那个在场上永不放弃的李盈盈。」她为自己的2018年许下前进世界前30的目标。