Kuala Lumpur: The World No.1 men’s singles player Kento Momota, World No. 1 women’s singles player Tai Tzu Ying and Indonesia’s World No. 1 men’s doubles pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo have confirmed their participation in the Malaysia Masters that will be held at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, from Jan 15 to Jan 20.
In addition, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen also vowed to defend his title at the BWF World Tour Super 500 event in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the Badminton Association of Malaysia president Mohamad Norza Zakaria would like young Malaysian players to use this opportunity to prove their worth against some of the world’s best.
“I would like our back-up players to take the chance to challenge these top-ranked players,” said Zakaria.
For Malaysia’s World No. 22 men’s doubles pair, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, the 2019 season will be important for them as they will fight for a place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“Many things have changed since early this year. We were just trying to play our best at the beginning of 2018, but next year would be different, because we will be trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympic,” said the 21-year-old Chia.
“I understand that there are big names like Indonesian pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo playing at the Malaysia Masters, but we are hoping to achieve good results in front of the home crowd,” added Chia.
In addition to Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, another exciting young Malaysian player – Lee Zii Jia, also poised for a break out season in 2019.
Despite suffering a back injury, the 20-year-old Lee Zii Jia was able to capture the Chinese Taipei Open men’s singles title in October, and also went on to win the second place at the Korea Masters last week.
“I know there are big guns like Kento Momota and Viktor Axelsen, but there is no pressure on me,” said Lee.
“I know what I need to do and I want to show the best. The Malaysia Masters is the best platform for us to step up to the plate” added Lee Zii Jia.