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Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Joy of badminton

Sports Star Joy Lai holds her national trophies. PAUL LOUGHNAN N20DT211
Sports Star Joy Lai holds her national trophies. PAUL LOUGHNAN N20DT211

TEMPLESTOWE teenager Joy Lai has the makings of a future Olympic badminton champion.
Joy, 13, won the “triple crown” - the under 15s singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles - at the recent Australian championships in Perth.
The closest she came to being headed was by five points in the deciding set of the singles final, in which she defeated her doubles partner - and friend - Grace Ngiam, from Brisbane.
Joy, who also enjoys sculpting and painting, said she loved the “fun” sport.
Former Olympian and one of Joy’s coaches, Lenny Permana, said the Ivanhoe Grammar year 7 student, who trains with Badminton Australia, was probably the best player of her age in the country.
Ms Permana, who competed in badminton at the 2004 Athens Olympics, described Joy as “such a hard worker” and said she had the necessary drive to succeed at international level.
Joy’s mother, Kanny Lai, said she was proud of her daughter and would support her.
“We do whatever we can to make sure she succeeds,” Ms Lai said.
Joy, who has been playing badminton for six years, is this week’s Manningham Leader Sports Star.

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