KUALA LUMPUR - It is tough filling in three-time world champion Chai Fong Ying's shoes as Ng Shin Yii found out on Monday.
Shin Yii, a silver medallist at the 2009 edition in Toronto was tipped to be a ready replacement for Fong Ying, who retired in May this year after finishing an illustrious career that also saw her winning twice at the Asian Games level.
The on-going World Wushu Championships was to be the platform for Shin Yii to prove her credential but it turned out to be a tournament to forget as she finished empty handed after another dismal performance in women's taijijian at Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras.
She finished a lowly 10th spot after garnering 9.39 points.
Lindswell Kwok, a taijiquan gold medallist in 2009, won the event for Indonesia's first gold of the championship with 9.70 points while Ai Uchida of Japan (9.67) and Chen Yi-ying of Taiwan (9.60) settled for silver and bronze respectively.
Shin Yii was also 10th in taijiquan two days ago and her failure meant Malaysia failed to get a medal in women's taiji disciplines for the first time since Vietnam in 2005.
Fong Ying captured her first world crown in taijijian in Vietnam that year followed by a gold medal in taijiquan two years later in Beijing.
In 2009, when Fong Ying failed to deliver, it was Shin Yii who rose to the occasion to cover up her senior's shortcoming.
Fong Ying reclaimed her title in Ankara two years later before quitting due to injuries and to focus on completing her university studies.
National team head coach Yoong Thong Foong admitted the pressure got to Shin Yii.
"Shin Yii has not delivered her normal performance in the tournament. Her ordinary performance, which we all have witnessed during her training, is way much better.
"She probably felt the pressure, which she never experienced before, as all these years, the burden to deliver was on Fong Ying.
"With Fong Ying no longer with us, now, the spotlight is on her and she might be worried too much, hence committing some mistakes that she should not have done," said Thong Foong, who is also the taiji coach.
But Thong Foong vowed to do all he can to help Shin Yii bounce back at Myanmar SEA Games next month.
"We will plan a special training to get her to improve on her consistency, which I think she is lacking," explained Thong Foong.
Shin Yii finished as silver medallist twice in Laos 2009 and Palembang 2011.