Hong Kong Open: Go, Jin Wei!

After all the hardship Goh Jin Wei went through in recent years, she could be forgiven for taking her semifinal place at the VICTOR Hong Kong Open 2023 as a token trophy for perseverance.

Except that she doesn’t.

“The job isn’t done yet, I have a lot still to do,” said the 23-year-old following her 12-21 21-17 21-18 win over the sixth-seeded world No.9 Han Yue, her first over a top 10 player in four and a half years.

Tipped for badminton greatness as a youngster, especially following her two World Junior Championships titles and Youth Olympic Games gold, Goh’s career didn’t really pan out the way it was meant to due to health reasons.

In 2019, Goh underwent a colectomy surgery, which involved removing part of her colon. The medication she was on meant she couldn’t hit the required levels in training, forcing her to announce her shock retirement two years later. She returned in 2022 but has not been the same player due to fitness issues related to her stomach ailment.

Against Han, having established an 18-12 lead in the decider, Goh was clearly out of breath. Her Chinese opponent sensed the opportunity and dragged herself back to 18-18. It was then that Goh decided to go for the jugular, firing three winning smashes to secure the result and end a run of nine straight first round eliminations on the Tour dating back to May.

Goh defeated Line Kjaersfeldt in the first round before receiving a walkover from Ratchanok Intanon.

Does this feel like a small reward for the sacrifices she’s had to make to have a career in badminton?

“I think so. I had so many first round defeats and faced a lot of difficulties. I’ve had to remind myself to keep going,” she said. “I’m staying calm and trying to implement what I learned from the previous matches, I’m still in the process of adapting.”

And what is the biggest takeaway from these testing four years?

“To keep going. The biggest motivation, we must create ourselves. Although there are many challenges to get through, just try. There will come a day where you get the rewards.”

The battle against Zhang Yi Man will mark her return to an HSBC BWF World Tour semifinal after the 2019 German Open, where she lost to Akane Yamaguchi. Goh leads Zhang 3-0 in the head-to-head but all her wins came before her surgery.

“I’m looking forward to the match,” enthused Goh. “I hope to recover and be ready because it will be tougher. I have so much catching up to do. I can’t stop.”

Stop she won’t anytime soon, with such resilience, even if Zhang plays spoiler in the last four. Go, Jin Wei!

Results (Day 4)

Order of play (Semifinals)


“Just be brave and play with confidence. And that’s what we did.”Thinaah Muralitharan on the message from her coaches when she and Pearly Tan were 18-15 behind in the rubber game against Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai

“Every victory helps get us where we want to be as a pair. And that’s the top of the podium.”Maiken Fruergaard after she and Sara Thygesen beat another seeded Japanese tandem

“It’s a meaningful breakthrough for me. I hope to keep my form (against Jonatan Christie). I’m not finished here yet.”Ng Tze Yong on making his first World Tour semifinal this season

“We lost to them the last time (at Singapore Open) but this win gives us more faith before the semis. We feel like we are growing in confidence with each match.”Tang Chun Man after he and Tse Ying Suet defeated second seeds Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue

Tang and Tse the only home shuttlers left in the draw.

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