Friday, May 24, 2019
TEXT BY Tom Leonard | Badminton Photo
Korean teen sensation An Se Young has been the talk of the town at the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 in Nanning, China.
But she hasn’t been the only youngster at the tournament who has caught the eye. That space belongs equally to 14-year-old Macau player Pui Chi Wa, whose star is also on the rise.
Pui started playing badminton seven years ago after her relatives inspired her to pick up a racket. Given her delicate age, it was impressive to learn that Pui earned her first cap for Macau only two months ago at the Tong Yun Kai Cup in Hong Kong.
While she may have lost all her women’s singles matches at the Continental championship, she took great comfort in reaching double figures in both games against world No. 18 Cai Yanyan from China.
That has served her well in Nanning, China this week as she comfortably won both her singles matches culminating in a 21-12 21-17 victory over Kazakhstan to lead her team to the top of Group 4.
“I just want to play as much as I can and become a better player,” said Pui.
Pui credits her favourite player Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei for inspiring her to chase her dream. Of course, it has been all the more memorable for the teenager to share the same court as her idol and many other fantastic players this week at the Sudirman Cup.
Pui may be three years behind An Se Young, but the sky’s the limit for an already polished player.
Team coach Li Zhe is confident in her abilities and her pathway to success.
“She is precious for our team and a vital part of our training squad in Macau,” he said.