up home page bottom

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wong Mew Choo - you are a role model!

Seriously, if you ask me, I won't bat an eyelid and tell you straight that it is much harder to juggle between serving your toddler and doing other housework and squeezing in some blogging time than to, say, win the China Open Badminton Women Singles Title!

Okay, got your attention. Well, actually, I am really proud of Wong Mew Choo's achievement. I remember reading some comments by her former coach, Li Mao, that she has a body of an 80 year old and a mind of an 8 year old. What he meant was that she has so many body injuries already at her age and yet she plays without thinking much about her opponents' games.

Wee, I finally beat Zhang Ning! (After winning semis CO07)

I have seen one of her earlier games (SEA games or Commonwealth games) and I think she was being pushed around quite badly and she had quite an awkward movement to the forehand deep corner (baseline). She has great fighting spirit and incredible stamina but could only retrieve shots most of the time. What I saw in her game against Xie Xingfang was totally different. It almost look like Lee Chong Wei's style. She moved faster and was attacking a lot. She had that jump/overhead drop and mimicked that deceptive cross court net shot that currently is Lee's signature shot play. And wow, even that backhand save (from a smash) with the body and legs spun around ala Lee's style. Other men players mostly just dive for it and end up lying flat on the ground (like Lin Dan, Taufik).

It is obvious that she has worked really hard to get where she is now. This tells me that it doesn't matter whether you are an 8 year old kid or an 80 year old folk, you can still improve yourself as long as you have the heart to do it. I had doubt about Wong's ability to achieve great heights given the history of the standard of women players in Malaysia. Yes, the doubles pair of Chin Ee Hui/Wong Pei Tty have also make very good progress and beaten some of the top pairs. But I think Wong Mew Choo's accomplishment is even greater because when you have beaten all the top players, you move to a new level of confidence - you break a significant mental barrier. I read that she can beat the guys in endurance training.

Look, my new jump smash (after beating Xie Xingfang in CO07 Finals)

I have watched her quarter final win against Xie in WC07 in Malaysia last August and while the other Malaysians fell by the wayside, she gave us something to be happy and jubilant about. My good friend once gave me a bookmark with a simple motivational phrase that says "Hardwork + Determination + Confidence = Success". I think Wong Mew Choo is a living example for this statement. She is an inspiration to underdogs like me. Success doesn't always go to the faster or stronger but to the person who thinks he/she can. What is important for her now is to stay focus in her personal goals and stay happy doing whatever she is doing now.

Congratulations Wong Mew Choo! Best of luck in the Grand Super Series Finals!

(Great pics from badminton forum.)