Kuala Lumpur: The 2018 World Championships bronze medalist, Daren Liew, has been confirmed to take over Lee Chong Wei’s place in the Asian Games as Lee was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to health issue.
President of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Mohamad Norza Zakaria said that the decision was made based on the current performance shown by Liew who currently ranked World No. 39, as the 31-year-old successfully brought back a bronze medal at the World Championships that concluded in Nanjing, China last Sunday.
“I would like to inform everybody about the latest developments related to the Malaysian badminton team where BAM has decided to list Daren to replace Chong Wei’s place in our Asian Games squad.”
“Since today is the last day of the DRM (Delegation Registration Meeting) process, therefore, we have made the replacement today. Today’s switch was actually involved Cheam June Wei who was previously announced to replace Chong Wei but after a re-assessment based on Daren’s current performance, we have decided to choose Daren to represent the country,”
“Thus, Daren will be playing in the team event and also in the individual event together with Lee Zii Jia. About the ankle injury Daren picked up in the quarter-finals of World Championships, medical reports showed it was not serious and he could play,” said Zakaria after attending an official shoe sponsorship ceremony on Tuesday.
When asked about whether BAM would send the young men’s doubles pair, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik to the Asian Games, Zakaria said BAM would still keep the previously-listed pairs of Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong and Teo Ee Yi/Ong Yew Sin.
“We do not want to take the risk because Aaron/Wooi Yik is currently playing at the Vietnam Open and they are the No. 1 seeds. We do not want to overburdened them with three consecutive tournaments (World Championships, Vietnam Open and Asian Games),” added Zakaria.
BAM has previously acknowledged that Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik could be listed for the Asian Games after the pair produced a strong run before losing to the eventual World Champions in the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Championship.
In another development, Zakaria also confirmed that the mixed doubles player Goh Liu Ying will be playing in Jakarta after the Achilles injury on her left foot has been confirmed to be not serious by the National Sports Institute (ISN).