THE national badminton team to a world meet outside Malaysia have never been this big.
When the Badminton World Federation (BWF) announced on Wednesday the list of qualifiers for the World Championship in Hyderabad, India, on Aug 10-16, Malaysia have five singles players and 12 doubles combinations.
However, World No 1 Lee Chong Wei is the only national player to have qualified for the men’s singles.
Five places in the Malaysian team are occupied by former national players. They are Wong Choong Hann, Lee Tsuen Seng (men’s singles), Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah, Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng (men’s doubles) and Fong Chew Ye-Mooi Hing Yau (women’s doubles).
In the women’s singles, Malaysia will be represented by World No 14 Wong Mew Choo and Lydia Cheah, who is replacing the injured Julia Wong.
The men’s doubles are World No 3 Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari, Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah and Chong Ming-Choon Eng.
Joining Chew Ye-Hing Yau in the women’s doubles are World No 1 Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui and national back-up elite pairs Woon Khe Wei-Chong Sook Chin and Marylen Ng-Lim Yin Loo.
Malaysia will also field four mixed doubles pairs in Hyderabad. They are World No 36 Kien Keat-Ng Hui Lin, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Razif Latif-Khe Wei and Ong Jien Guo-Sook Chin.
Malaysia’s best chances of winning their first world title are in the men’s singles and doubles.
Chong Wei, who lifted his fourth title of the year by winning the recent Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold, is in great form to mount a strong challenge in Hyderabad.
His biggest obstacle is China’s Lin Dan, who will be out to capture his third straight world title.
China’s Chen Jin and Bao Chunlai, Denmark’s Peter Gade Christensen and Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat are among the strong contenders.
BWF will announce the seeding on July 16 and the draw on July 21.
The Malaysian team: (world ranking in bracket):
THE SQUAD — Men’s Singles: Lee Chong Wei (1), Wong Choong Hann (11), Lee Tsuen Seng (18).
Doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (3), Zakry Latif-Fairuzizuan Tazari (5), Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah (10), Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng (12).
Women’s Singles: Wong Mew Choo (14), Lydia Cheah (8).
Doubles: Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui (1), Woon Khe Wei-Chong Sook Chin (37), Fong Chew Yen-Mooi Hing Yau (44), Marylen Ng-Lim Yin Loo (60)
Mixed doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Ng Hui Lin (36), Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying (57), Razif Latif-Woon Khe Wei (78), Ong Jien Guo-Chong Sook Chin (91).