Badminton: Yeo Jia Min becomes world No. 1 junior; first Singaporean to reach this milestone

Singapore badminton player Yeo Jia Min at the Vietnam Open Grand Prix in July 2016.
Singapore badminton player Yeo Jia Min at the Vietnam Open Grand Prix in July 2016.PHOTO: TRUNG HO

SINGAPORE - For the first time, Singapore can boast that it has a world No. 1 in badminton.

Yeo Jia Min is the newly-crowned top junior female badminton player in the world, after the latest world rankings were released on Thursday by the Badminton World Federation, the sport's world governing body. She leapfrogged Malaysia's Goh Jin Wei to claim the top ranking.

The 18-year-old is the first from the country to reach this milestone on either the junior or senior circuits, singles or doubles. She is currently ranked No. 62 on the senior circuit.

Yeo lifted the Badminton Asia Under-17 Junior Championships title in 2015, becoming the first Singaporean to triumph on that stage. At that same event, she partnered Crystal Wong to also win the doubles title.

Her first professional title came last July, when she beat Japan's Mine Ayumi to win the Vietnam Grand Prix as an unseeded player. That victory provided a big boost in terms of ranking points, helping her break into the top five of the junior rankings towards the end of 2016.

She won the Dutch Junior event in March, before a runner-up finish at the German Junior a week later.

Yeo was born and bred in Singapore. She has been awarded The Straits Times' Star of the Month gong twice, the first shuttler to do so.