Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian badminton team has set the target of winning at least two gold medals at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) that will be held in Kuala Lumpur from Aug 19, 2017 to Aug 30, 2017.
Technical Director of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) – Morten Frost told reporters that the Malaysian players could make a surprise in men’s singles, as well as winning two golds in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles event.
“The men’s singles competition looks wide-open. I have confidence in Iskandar (Zulkarnain Zainuddin) and Lee Zii Jia to perform well and to achieve success in the men’s category,” said Frost.
“No doubt, Jonatan Christie from Indonesia will be the top favorite because of his world ranking (World No. 23), followed by Khosit Phetpradab of Thailand (World No. 40), another Indonesian player Ihsan Maulana Mustofa (World No. 47) and Iskandar (World No. 52),” added Frost.
In the 2015 Singapore SEA Games, Chong Wei Feng of Malaysia emerged as the men’s singles champion after overcoming fellow countryman Mohamed Arif Abdul Latif in the final.
When asked to comment on the women’s singles competition, Frost said: “Just like men’s singles, Soniia Cheah was seeded No. 4 based on her world ranking.”
“However, Thailand and Indonesia are also sending players with higher world ranking to the SEA Games. The defending champion Busanan Ongbamrungphan, ranked 12th in the world, is the No. 1 seed followed by No. 2 seed Fitriani Fitriani of Indonesia and Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand as the No. 3 seed.”
“Soniia is training very hard and is at her best. As far as Goh Jin Wei goes, she has started her training, but we are still monitoring her progress, but she will definitely be ready for the SEA Games.”
The 17-year-old Goh Jin Wei aggravated her ankle injury at Asian Junior Championships in Jakarta 3 weeks ago, but was given the clearance to play in the SEA Games after the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test showed there was nothing serious with her injury.