Malaysia cuts down team for Japan Open


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia are set to send their smallest team for this year’s Japan Open from Sept 17-22 following a directive to all coaches to put on hold some of their immediate plans.

Only World No. 1 men’s singles shuttler Lee Chong Wei and top mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying are expected to make the flight to Tokyo while the bulk of the team are expected to be withdrawn from the Super Series event.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have registered Liew Daren, Chong Wei Feng, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem, Hoon Thien How and Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei for the Japan Open.

In the men’s doubles, Kien Keat-Boon Heong and Thien How-Wee Kiong are seeded third and eighth respectively.

The names of the players were entered before the recent World Championships in Guangzhou and the BAM have until Sept 1 to withdraw their players to avoid being penalised by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

It is learnt that BAM’s new president Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff would prefer to discuss with some of the coaches on their future plans before sending out the players for international tournaments.

Tengku Mahaleel, who had asked for one month to do some groundwork before making any changes in the national training and coaching set-up, will chair his first council meeting on Sept 7, where he is expected to unveil new plans. He is expected to reveal the association’s new secretary, and coaching and training chairman. He may even go one step further by naming the national coaching director.

The status of Kien Keat-Boon Heong in the national team will also be dealt with.

The future of the duo is uncertain following their failure to reach the final of the World Championships in Guangzhou recently.

The BAM will have to decide whether to split or drop them after both went down in the quarter-finals of the world meet to South Korea’s second ranked pair of Kim Ki-jung-Kim Sa-rang.

For the record, Chong Wei and Peng Soon-Liu Ying are the winners of their respective events at last year’s Japan Open. The duo will be out to taste success again and make up for their disappointment at the World Championships.

In Guangzhou, Chong Wei lost to Lin Dan of China in the final while Peng Soon-Liu Ying crashed out in the second round to South Koreans Ki-jung-Jung Kyung-eun. 


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