PETALING JAYA: Former national junior shuttler Gan Jing Err is down but not out.
The 19-year-old is looking at ways to revive her badminton career as an independent player after she was surprisingly dropped by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) early this year.
Her failure to get promoted to the senior rank was a blow for Jing Err as she did well despite missing out on a bronze medal with mixed doubles partner Yap Roy King in the quarter-final defeat at last year’s World Junior Championships in Kazan, Russia.
The pair won the Malaysian Junior Open title; made the quarter-finals in the Asian Junior Championships in Suzhou, China and reached the semi-finals in Thailand, Indonesia and India.
After the world juniors, Jing Err and teammates went through a month-long selection trial and she failed to impress the senior team coaches.
“It’s certainly upsetting because I was looking forward to joining the senior team. The rejection was hard to take at first, but I have since moved on, ” said Jing Err who left BAM in January.
“Nothing is going to stop me from pursuing my dream to become a top shuttler. Who knows, I may succeed through the independent route.”
Jing Err is now training under former international Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif, who is a coach with the Ministry of Higher Education team at Universiti Malaya.
“Initially I had no place to train but I’m so fortunate that coach Zakry is willing to help. But to become part of the team, I must enrol as a student. I’m planning to take up a Sports Science degree.”
Now the other challenges is to find a sponsor and a permanent partner.
“As I’m a doubles player, my immediate concern is to find a formidable partner. I want to specialise in the mixed doubles, I believe that is where my strength is, ” she explained.
Meanwhile, BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann revealed that Jing Err was dropped because she did not fit the bill.
“We made it clear from the start that no one gets an automatic promotion. They have to be evaluated during the trial, ” said Choong Hann.
“As much as we want more women in the senior squad, we could not recruit her based on our assessment.
“But we’ll not shut the door on anyone. We will definitely consider her if she proves she’s worthy of a place in the future.”