PH top badminton bet looks to improve after first SEA Games stint
KUALA LUMPUR — The Philippines’ No. 1 badminton player knew how big the sport was in this country.
But Sarah Joy Barredo didn’t realize how huge it was until she played here for her first Southeast Asian Games stint.
“It’s very awe-inspiring,” said the 17-year-old Barredo in Filipino.
She said playing in 16,000-seater Axiata Arena — which was filled to the rafters all week of the competitions — can be overwhelming.
“But of course I remember I was here to play for the Philippines and had to give my everything,” said the many-time Palarong Pambansa champion.
Barredo made it through the quarterfinals bowed to World No. 22 Pornpawee Chochungwong of Thailand.
Badminton super powers Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand sent teams here.
But some of Malaysia’s shuttler including legend Lee Chong Wei didn’t see action because of the on-going World Championships in Glasgow.
She and partner Alyssa Leonardo also crashed the doubles quarterfinals but lost to a Vietnamese pair.
Literally a badminton hall rat, Barredo made the Rizal Memorial Badminton Center her own playground growing up because her mother worked there as ticket counter officer.
The senior high at Philippine Women’s University-Jose Abad Santos Memorial School already has offers from big UAAP schools like Ateneo, La Salle and National University.
“Hopefully I can use the SEA Games experience to improve and win golds in the future,” she said.
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