SHAH ALAM: Former All-England champion Mohd Hafiz Hashim received the perfect boost ahead of his return to the courts after a six-month injury lay-off.
The 31-year-old, who will compete in the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara today, was revealed as the ambassador for badminton equipment giants Protech yesterday. He signed a two-year sponsorship deal.
Hafiz, who underwent an ankle tendon surgery in November, will be playing in the singles as well as the doubles with Mohamad Razif Abdul Latif.
“I’m ready to make a return to the international stage again. I’m still hungry to win titles,” said Hafiz.
“I decided to play in the doubles as I want to build up my game after such a long hiatus. The last time I played doubles was 12 years ago when I started my playing career. I think I can still play in the doubles and Razif’s experience will be a big boost for me,” he added.
Hafiz is now ranked No. 60 in the world. And he plans to improve his ranking and be in contention for a spot in the Thomas Cup squad next year.
“I need to start collecting ranking points. My aim is to be ranked top 30,” he said.
Protech International managing director Ronnie Chong said they picked Hafiz as their ambassador as they believe in his potential.
“Hafiz always has the potential. He’s a former All-England winner and we believe that he’s among the best players in the world,” said Ronnie.
During the event, Protech also handed sponsorships worth RM90,000 and RM30,000 to Putrajaya Badminton Association and Kelab Wira Tangkis respectively.