Singapore: When badminton draw for the 2015 SEA Games was announced on Tuesday, Malaysia men’s and women’s team have avoided an early showdown with Indonesia after they were both seeded joint third-fourth in the men’s and women’s team event respectively.
The men’s team will begin its campaign against Cambodia in the first round/quarter finals. Former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei should provide a lifeline to Malaysia men’s team in its quest for a semi-final berth at the expense of Cambodia.
The Malaysia’s women’s team will take on Vietnam in the quarter-finals.
Should both men’s and women’s advance to the semi-finals, they are scheduled to collide with Indonesia in the final four.
“It’s 50-50 for both men’s and women’s teams against Indonesia,” said Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost on Tuesday.
“Indonesia men’s shuttlers are strong and very young. They’ve played very well at last week’s Indonesia Open,” added Frost.
“In order to win, we have to take our chances and see what happens. I am confident that our players could put up a strong fight.”
“For the women’s team, I have no problem facing the Indonesian in the semi-finals, because we’ll have a higher chance of losing if we play against Thailand in the final four since Thailand have stronger women’s singles.”
“Playing in the quarter-finals could give our players opportunities to familiarize themselves with the stadium.”
Malaysia won the men’s team event in the 2005 Manila SEA Games, where Lee Chong Wei and Hafiz Hashim were part of the gold medal-winning team. Hafiz’s crucial win over Sony Dwi Kuncoro helped Malaysia beat Indonesia 3-2 for the team gold.
Meanwhile, Malaysia women’s team defeated Indonesia 3-1 to win gold at the 2009 Laos SEA Games.