Goh adds Youth Olympic gold to her list of firsts

Goh Jin Wei beat China’s Wang Ziyi to become the first player to have won both a Youth Olympic gold and a World Junior Championship title. Photo: Badmintonphoto (archives) Three […]

Goh Jin Wei beat China’s Wang Ziyi to become the first player to have won both a Youth Olympic gold and a World Championship title.

Photo: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Three years ago, Goh Jin Wei (pictured left) became the first Malaysian girl to win a singles title at the World Junior Championships.  Yesterday, though, she achieved something that no one inside or outside of Malaysia had ever done before.  Four years ago, Akane Yamaguchi and Lin Guipu had won the World Junior singles titles but both players were denied the gold at the in Nanjing by the players who had settled for silver at the World Juniors that year.  That was the closest anyone had come to capturing both titles…until now.

The Youth Olympics, of course, has only happened three times.  The first was in 2010 and at that time, players under 17, including the reigning World Junior Champions that year – Ratchanok Intanon and Viktor Axelsen – were not considered eligible for the inaugural Games in Singapore.  Still, many talented players have participated in both competitions over the past 8 years and Goh is the first to take the two types of crowns.

Goh came back from a game down to beat Asian Junior Champion Wang Ziyi in three games.  Another Asian Junior Champion was forced to settle for silver in the boys’ singles, too.  India’s Lakshya Sen had won convincingly when he faced China’s Li Shifeng (pictured right) in Jakarta but it was Li who took the gold medal final in straight games in Buenos Aires.

2018 marks the first time that the junior calendar was not rearranged to accommodate an August scheduling for the Youth Olympiad and the use of the same calendar year’s World Juniors as a qualifying event.  In 2010 and 2014, the continental junior championships were held very early in the year, clearing the way for the World Juniors to be played in April and the Youth Olympics in the summer.  This time, the World Juniors will remain in their regular spot in November, which means that for the first time, it will be the Youth Olympic gold medallists travelling to the World Juniors to seek another title to add to their collections before joining the senior ranks next year.  On the other hand, boys’ singles silver medallist Lakshya Sen, along with boys’ and girls’ singles bronze medallists Kodai Naraoka and Phittayaporn Chaiwan respectively, will still have one more year of junior eligibility.

Click here for complete results from the Youth Olympic Games

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net