They say there is a story behind every sportsman's success. So what is the story of Ng Wei, the shuttler who led the SAR to international badminton glory at the age of 17? Wei won a silver medal at the Dutch Junior Open and the championship at the Magtron Australian Open last year and also won his second adidas/Sports Institute Junior Star of the Month Award in March this year. Wei is now preparing for this month's Asian Junior Championships in Malaysia. 'I started out playing for fun, never knowing it would one day become my life,' Wei told Young Post. The mainland-born shuttler said his childhood dream was to become a diver. However, a blunt remark from his coach changed his sporting direction. 'He told me I was not physically suited for diving and suggested I give badminton a try.' Wei has never looked back. In 1995, he came with his family to Hong Kong, where he was introduced to veteran badminton player Chan Chi-choi - the man who was to become his coach and mentor. Since last year, Wei has been determined to turn professional in the sport. 'I take badminton very seriously. My goals are to reach the top three in the world by 2004 and to represent the SAR at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.' But success in any sport does not come easily. It takes dedication and rigorous training. Every day, from Monday to Saturday, Wei trains to improve his badminton skills, physical fitness and theoretical knowledge at the Hong Kong Sports Institute in Sha Tin. 'My coach is an aggressive person, with high expectations of us. 'He wants to make the SAR one of the world's badminton powerhouses. 'Although the training is harsh, my coach teaches me a lot and points out my weaknesses all the time. Without his guidance, I don't think I could have come this far.' Wei tells beginners they must first love the sport, then keep practising to improve their skills. He has certainly followed his own advice. Wei's most recent star of the month award follows his brilliant performance at the Dutch Junior Open, in which he competed against 63 top juniors from around the world. 'Actually, I did not expect to win the adidas award again after lifting the title in September. 'All the other candidates have had some good results, but I'm very happy to be the first athlete to win the award twice. The award highlights not only the achievements of local junior athletes but also brings us tangible rewards,' he said. 'I should thank my coach, Chan Chi-choi, who always guides me to success.' Wei first made a name for himself in the Asian Junior Age Open at 14, and has since won many honours for Hong Kong.