Badminton: Singapore's Jaslyn Hooi wins Polish International 2021

Rising Singapore Badminton Star Aims to Break into World Top 80 by Year End

Image via SportSG

While all eyes in Singapore were fixed on the rising daily cases of COVID-19 cases recently, one of our athletes achieved a significant personal milestone in her budding athlete career.

Team Singapore shuttler Jaslyn Hooi, ranked 133 in the world, overcame 18 year-old Samiya Imad Farooqui of India 21-11, 21-9 in the final to win the Polish International 2021 badminton competition, and claim her first international title win in the Open category.

Footage via Badminton Europe

She had earlier overcome Swedish opponent Edith Urell 21-17, 21-8 in the semi-finals to reach the final.

The title win achievement is all the more significant with this being Hooi's first international competition she has taken part in since March 2020, just before COVID-19 put global sporting events to a grinding halt.

Footage via Badminton Europe

Hooi, who turned 21 this week, has been on the rise in the local badminton scene, and while she hasn't reached the international acclaim of her seniors Loh Kean Yew and Yeo Jiamin, is already widely regarded as an athlete to look out for in the coming years.

Known to adopt a more aggressive and offensive style of play than Yeo Jiamin, Hooi is the second highest ranked local female shuttler after Yeo, and also went the furthest in the Women's Singles at the last SEA Games in Philippines, reaching the last eight.

File photo: SportPlus.SG

She is also the reigning title holder of the last two editions of the Singapore National Open Championships from 2020 and 2021.

When asked about her thoughts on winning the Polish International badminton competition, Hooi was happy but kept her feet firmly on the ground, saying there is still plenty of work left to do.

"I'm delighted, it's been a while since any of us have been to any international competitions," she said. "This title shows that whatever we've been working on during the lockdown is useful and that I'm on the right track to be better."

The Polish International is the first of a series of four competitions Hooi and her teammates are embarking on as Singapore's badminton athletes come out of almost 18 months without international competition, with the exception of its olympic athletes.

"We are hoping these four competitions will bring up our rankings so that we will be able to play in higher grade competitions next year," said Hooi.

File photo: SportPlus.SG

And what of her personal targets for this year and beyond?

She shared: "I hope to bring up my world ranking. I hope to break into the top 80 by the end of this year."

Judging by her dedication to the task and continuous drive for improvement, achieving that milestone wouldn't come as a huge surprise to any of us.

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