Future world-beaters

Future world-beaters
Shuttlers Yeo Jia Min (left) and Liang Xiaoyu at the NTUC FairPrice Foundation Sports Scholarship award ceremony.

Shuttlers Liang Xiaoyu and Yeo Jia Min may not have won any medals at the Asian Youth Games (AYG) in Nanjing this year, but their coach is tipping them to be world-beaters in the future.

Jia Min, 14, lost to Malaysia's Ho Yen Mei in the quarter-finals while Xiaoyu, 17, lost in the Round of 16 to eventual winner, China's Qin Jinjing.

Jia Min was born and bred here to parents who are Malaysians but are Singapore permanent residents.

The teenager received her Singapore citizenship in the last couple of years.

Xiaoyu came to Singapore from Jiangsu, China, at the age of 10 with her father who works as a badminton coach.

Of Jia Min, National Intermediate Squad head coach Liu Qingdong said: "She really is a national asset who must be carefully nurtured, because I strongly believe she is capable of winning an Olympic medal for Singapore.

"She has already proven that she's the best in Asia at her age group and she's very comfortable playing against and beating players who are older than her.

"She is very smart and catches on to the coach's instructions quickly.

"She also practises very hard and has this drive on the court that is not common among other shuttlers."

The coach made the comments at the NTUC FairPrice Foundation sports scholarship award ceremony Wednesday at the FairPrice Hyper Xtra outlet in Changi Business Park.

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