NAYPYITAW - Seasoned campaigner Beh Lee Wei is on the verge of ending her last SEA Games outing with a breakthrough.
On Friday, the 30-year-old player-cum-national chief coach Lee Wei emerged as the Group Z winner to qualify for the women's singles semi-finals in the table tennis competition at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium C.
The bubbly Lee Wei, who is the only Malaysian left in the fray after the group stages, will take on Singapore's Isabelle Li Siyun in today's semi-finals.
Fortunately for Lee Wei, Isabelle is the only paddler in the Singapore women's team who is not imported from China.
Thirteen-time national champion Lee Wei has never gone beyond the semi-finals in all the SEA Games that she has competed since the 1999 edition in Brunei.
But she hopes to break her jinx this time.
"I am just one step away from achieving my best result in my last SEA Games and I will push myself hard," said Lee Wei, who did not compete in the Jakarta Games last year because she was pregnant then.
"Isabelle is not a China import but it is wrong to underestimate her. She has the benefit of sparring with all the players from China. I have not played against her before but I think the match will be evenly contested."
Lee Wei's understudy Ho Ying, however, failed to make an impression after losing both her Group W matches on Friday.
She lost 3-0 to Isabelle before suffering a surprise 3-0 defeat at the hands of Filipina Lariba Ian.
In the men's singles event, both Malaysian representatives - Mohd Shakirin Ibrahim and Muhd Ashraf Haiqal Muhd - failed to progress to the last four.