Wednesday August 8, 2012
Budding youngster Min Jie set to stamp her mark in HK Open
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: Talented youngster Teh Min Jie is one of the most improved players in the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) set-up and national junior coach Andrew Cross is backing her to finally step up and make an impact in the Hong Kong Junior Open, which starts today.
Min Jie is one of several juniors in the squad but she has been constantly overshadowed by the likes of fellow BJSS trainee Rachel Arnold and the Penang-based Vanessa Raj and Celine Yeap.
The 16-year-old Kedahan made the final of the National Junior Championship last year and picked up her biggest career win by bagging the Under-17 title in the Penang Junior Open in June.
That, however, was not enough to warrant Min Jie a place in the Asian Juniors as the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) picked Vanessa and Rachel instead.
But Cross believes that Min Jie’s hard work has finally paid off and she’s ready to make her mark in an overseas tournament.
“This is her first overseas tournament in a while, the last being an event in Sri Lanka two years ago, and she is definitely ready to take her chances,” said Cross.
“She has worked hard and improved a lot. Her win in Penang is proof of it and she has certainly earned her spot to compete in Hong Kong.”
But the draw has not been kind to Min Jie, who is seeded joint fifth-eighth in the Under-17 category.
She has a first-round bye and should have no problem getting past her second round opponent, Hong Kong’s Yeung Ming Wai.
Min Jie faces a tough hurdle in the last eight, where she is expected to meet joint third-fourth seed Rachel – their seventh meeting in a competitive tournament this year.
Rachel defeated Min Jie in the Milo All Star back in May before the latter got her revenge in the Penang Junior meet en route to winning the title.
The other Malaysians gunning for honours include top seed Vanessa, joint fifth-eighth seed Celine, Jadeleen Lee, Esther Yan and T. Mithila.