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Singapore's Yeo Jia Min is BWF World Junior No.1

Discussion in 'Professional Players' started by Loh, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Rising S’pore shuttler Yeo Jia Min is new world junior No 1

    [​IMG]
    Yeo Jia Min displaced Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) junior world rankings to reach the top spot for the first time in her career. Photo: OUE Singapore Open

    Teenager reaches top spot for the first time in latest world rankings for U-19 players

    By Teo Teng Kiat
    tengkiat.teo@mediacorp.com.sg -
    Published: 10:55 PM, June 8, 2017

    SINGAPORE – Rising local shuttler Yeo Jia Min added another feather to her cap after she was named the world No 1 female junior on Thursday (June 8).

    The 18-year-old displaced Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) junior world rankings to reach the top spot for the first time in her career. Juniors are defined as players under 19 years of age by the BWF.

    This is the first time that a Singaporean shuttler has reached the top spot in the junior rankings ever since the BWF introduced it in 2011.

    When contacted, Yeo told TODAY that she was heartened by the news as it is a reflection of her progress, but added that she is not fixated by the rankings.

    “I don’t really look at my rankings, but my parents do and after training this afternoon, my mother texted me and congratulated for being world no. 1,” she said.

    “I feel encouraged… I take it step by step and it’s something to continue to push me (to do better). I don’t aim (to do well specifically) for rankings, but it’s part of the process.

    “I aim to do my best for every competition and whatever I’ve been working on (in training), I want to see the progress on court.”

    Yeo, regarded as one of Singapore’s brightest badminton prospects, rose to world junior no. 2 at the start of this year after a stellar 2016 that saw her claim her first ever professional title at last July’s Yonex Sunrise Vietnam Grand Prix.

    Earlier this March, Yeo won the Yonex Dutch Junior International crown for the third U-19 women’s singles title triumph of her career.

    She dropped briefly to no. 3 in April but climbed back up one spot at the start of June, before rising to the summit earlier today.

    She is currently 62nd on the women’s singles rankings, dropping from her 55th spot last month.

    Yeo’s next assignment are two adult competitions, the Crown Group Australian Open from June 20-25 and the Yonex Open Taiwan from June 27 to July 2. That will be followed by the Asia Junior championships from July 22-30, before she heads for August’s SEA Games.

    Former SEA Games and Commonwealth Games silver medalllist Derek Wong hailed Yeo’s rise to the top and said he believes that she has the ability and potential to go far in her playing career.

    “Making it into the junior ranked No 1 is a great achievement. But it can only be a milestone,” he said.
    “She has to think about how to convert that into being one of the very best in the world on the professional circuit.

    “However, when I was in the national team and she was training together with the team, and her strength, speed, explosive power and her composure on court was quite remarkable. All she needed was to improve on her consistency and her knowledge of shuttle placement to further improve her game. She has worked on those areas and that has brought her to where she is today.

    “I believe with the right mindset and given the right direction from the Singapore Badminton Association, she will be able to break into the top ranks in the world.”

    Former national shuttler Ronald Susilo, who was once ranked world No 6 in the men’s singles, agreed.

    “While it’s good that we have a world No 1 junior, at the end of the day, it’s how you go to the senior level and perform,” he said.

    “Of course, she is still young and there’s so much to improve in order to get to the world class level.
    “But, congratulations to her. What is important is for her to get to the senior level, and be able to compete at that level.

    “If she can do that, it will be good for her, and for Singapore.

    Making the transition from junior to senior level is a big difference as the seniors are more mature, faster and stronger. In Singapore, there are currently not many sparring partners (to work with her), so it’s not going to be easy for her.”
     
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  2. Oldhand

    Oldhand Moderator

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  3. Baddyforall

    Baddyforall Regular Member

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  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Badminton: Junior shuttler on top of the world
    [​IMG]
    Fleet-footed Yeo Jia Min (right) comparing the sole of her shoes with assistant national singles coach Fu Mingtian during a training session at OCBC Arena yesterday. Her speed is one of her biggest assets.ST PHOTO: DAVE LIM

    Published
    10 hours ago

    S'pore's world No. 1 junior not focused on rankings but improvement
    May Chen
    maychen@sph.com.sg

    Congratulations have flowed from team-mates and coaches. There has even been some teasing from friends about her new status.

    But as national shuttler Yeo Jia Min walked into the OCBC Arena for training as the newly-minted world No. 1 junior yesterday, she made sure none of the usual drills over a three-hour training session changed.

    If anything, the soft-spoken and fleet-footed player was only more aware of the pressing need to do better and aim for more.

    The 18-year-old became Singapore's first top-ranked badminton player - junior or senior, singles or doubles - when the latest world rankings were released by the Badminton World Federation on Thursday.

    But with just six months of eligibility left in junior events - they are meant for those aged 19 and below - she has already turned her focus to the senior circuit.

    "I don't really plan on taking part in (many) more junior tournaments," she told The Straits Times after training yesterday.

    The Asia Junior Championships next month and the World Junior Championships in October - both in Indonesia - will be her last two junior tournaments.

    MAKING THE STEP UP

    Senior competitions require (us to be) more tactical, patient, and consistent. (Success) can't be achieved without a certain level of speed and fitness.

    '' YEO JIA MIN, the world No. 1 junior, on the difference between senior and youth competitions and what it takes to do well at the highest level.

    She added: "I cannot be focusing on the rewards, the rankings - I have to think about the now."

    Moving to the senior circuit, where she is ranked world No. 62, will mean facing the giants of the sport.

    Doing well at youth level has not always guaranteed glory at the biggest stages, even though numerous shuttlers have turned their potential into success.

    Yeo rattled off a few names, including Japan's Akane Yamaguchi, a two-time world junior champion ranked No. 4 in the world at just 19 years old.

    Singapore's No. 2 - behind world No. 28 Liang Xiaoyu - is relishing the challenge ahead.

    "Senior competitions require (us to be) more tactical, patient, and consistent. (Success) can't be achieved without a certain level of speed and fitness," she said before her next tournament, the Australian Open in Sydney that starts on June 20.

    "Everyone peaks at different times. Now it's Tai Tzu-ying (Chinese Taipei, 22)," she said of the world No. 1.

    "A while ago it was (world champion) Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand, 22), and then (Olympic champion) Carolina Marin (Spain, 23).

    "I don't think 'they peaked at a certain time so I have to do it too'. I just go with the flow, constantly do what I need to do.

    "I'm quite happy with my progress in training and I can't wait to go on court and see how the training has been working."

    Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu also lauded Yeo yesterday. She posted a congratulatory note on her Facebook page, saying: "Very proud that our Team Singapore youth shuttler Yeo Jia Min is now the world's No. 1 junior badminton player...

    "Her sporting achievements at this young age (are) commendable, through her hard work and a good support system... I hope more youth athletes will be inspired by Jia Min's achievements. We will continue to support our aspiring talents, and nurture the next generation of sporting champions for Singapore!"

    While Yeo, who has been training as a full-time player since the middle of last year, places little emphasis on numbers and rankings, the figures do provide affirmation.

    She said: "It's encouragement to see that I'm on the right track. It's proof that Singapore badminton can also do well on the world circuit."
     
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  5. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    World junior No 1 today, Olympic medallist in three years’ time

    [​IMG]
    Yeo Jia Min is aiming to be among the world's top 10 and win an Olympic medal within the next five years. Photo: Trung Ho


    Being No 1 now is no big deal for young S’pore shuttler Yeo Jia Min, who has far more lofty ambitions

    By Teo Teng Kiat
    Published 8:00 PM, June 10, 2017

    Updated 8:00 PM, June 10, 2017


    SINGAPORE – Local and world badminton history was created this week when the Badminton World Federation (BWF) released its updated world rankings for players on Thursday morning (June 8).

    For the first time ever, a Singaporean emerged top of the female singles’ junior list.

    That person was none other than Yeo Jia Min, who had spent 15 of the preceding 21 weeks at No. 2. In rising to the pinnacle of the junior rankings, she displaced Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei to become the first-ever Singapore to rank world No. 1 in the sport at either senior and junior (Under-19) level.

    It is the latest milestone for the 18-year-old, currently local badminton’s brightest prospect.

    Yeo captured her first professional title at last July’s Yonex Sunrise Vietnam Grand Prix, while also claiming a third career U-19 title with her Yonex Dutch Junior International triumph earlier in March.

    The careers of previous world No. 1 female juniors suggest that Yeo has the potential to do well when she makes the leap to the professional level next year.

    After all, Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi is world no. 4, while her compatriots Nozomi Okuhara and Aya Ohori are 13th and 19th.

    China’s He Bingjiao is 7th, Chen Yufei is 9th, while Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon, Busanan Ongbamrungphan and Pornpawee Chochuwong are 8th, 12th and 20th respectively.

    Yeo, who doesn’t keep track of her rankings and was only informed of her No. 1 achievement through a text message from her mother, does not want to be the odd one out, nor a flash in the pan.

    “My goal is to break through on the world stage and do well,” the soft-spoken teen told TODAY recently. “I won’t say I think of it every day, but that’s my goal.

    “I think what people want (to see) from me and what I want from myself is the same, maybe even higher.”

    OLYMPIC DREAMS

    Despite being ranked 62nd in the world, the Singapore Sports School graduate has lofty aims.

    She is targeting a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and wants to be among the world’s elite in five years’ time.

    She will be 22 then, which is when female players tend to peak. Current world no. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan is 22, while no. 2 Carolina Marin of Spain is 23.

    “I hope by then I can at least be in the top five or top 10 so that I’ll have a good chance of winning a medal in the Olympics,” said the former Asian U-15 and U-17 champion.

    Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) chief coach Chua Yong Joo thinks Yeo can do it. “I think she can definitely be our next No. 1 singles (female player), there’s huge potential in her,” he said.

    The former national shuttler added that there are high hopes for Yeo, whom he believes has progressed well over the past two years after recovering from a knee injury in 2015 that put paid to a SEA Games debut that year.

    “The thing now is (to figure out) how we can get her to the 2020 Olympics, hopefully to even win a medal.”

    PLAY SMART

    Yeo believes her game has matured both physically and mentally but insisted she still has a long way to go as she prepares to transit to senior level badminton next year.

    “There’s still a big improvement to be made in areas like gameplay, tactics and the control of the shuttle on court, especially in big halls that are a bit windy, and how to control my rhythm on court, so I can have more shot consistency, and how to adapt to different players as well,” she rattled off.

    She has also come to realise the importance of having smarts and the virtue of patience.

    “My style of play won’t change, it’s still sort of attacking, but now I have to incorporate different things and elements to bring out that attacking strength even more,” she explained.

    “I have to improve other areas like controlling my opponents. It’s basically like chess, you need to know how to move them around, so that your attacks will be more effective.

    “It may take longer for opportunities to come and I have to be more alert to those and really make use of them, or the opponent will take advantage instead.

    “I think you have to be more patient and also more decisive… more daring.”

    Yeo put school on hold at the start of last year to train full-time. She is self studying and plans to apply to take the international ‘A’ Levels when she is “ready”.

    This arrangement allows her to train at least 10 times weekly. She has two sessions daily except on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Sundays are rest days. She also does extra conditioning work on her own.

    “I enjoy (training) because badminton is my passion,” she said. “I love doing what I do.”

    WORLD JUNIOR TITLE AIM

    Due to a lack of female sparring partners, Yeo trains with her male teammates instead. It is not ideal, but it does not deter her.

    “There are definitely still differences in game play,” she said.

    “So it’s good I can come out and play competitions. Then I will be playing with girls, and can see how the things I have worked on works with them.

    “Maybe I will be able to improve faster (with more partners) but I can’t control that. I just have to train smarter.”

    It also means that she is usually alone with just her coach at tournaments, but she is not fazed by that either.

    “Other teams will have many team-mates, and sometimes it can be lonely, but it’s part of the journey,” she reasoned.

    “You can say that Marin is also lonely, or maybe Tai Tzu-ying… it doesn’t really affect me a lot.”

    Yeo will take on more senior competitions this year to ease her transition from junior level, but has also set her sights on two major junior titles.

    “My goal this year is to win the Asia Junior and World Junior championships, and do well for this SEA Games,” she declared.

    “If I continue to work on the things I need to improve, from now until then, then I should be able to play well.”
     
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