By RAJES PAUL
PETALING JAYA: Except for a minor hitch, its all systems go for the national badminton team as they prepare for the World Championships.
The world meet will start tomorrow at the multi-tiered Palacio De Deportes in Madrid, which can accommodate up to 17,000 spectators.
The team, who left early to Madrid to get acclimatised, trained at the tournament venue for the last two days
Only (Chan) Chong Ming missed out our first training session at the training because he was ill, said national chief coach Yap Kim Hock in a telephone interview from Madrid.
We gave him a days rest but he resumed the training session at the venue today (yesterday).
I have no complaints about the venue. Everything is smooth sailing for the team here. As of today, every member of the Malaysian team is here, he said.
Kim Hock described the teams preparation as the best ever for a world series.
Team spirit is high because the players know that they have prepared well. We also have a support team, who are a dedicated lot, he said.
Malaysia have the services of seven staff from the National Sports Institute – two masseurs, two physical trainers, a nutritionist, a psychologist and a sports code expert.
Kim Hock said he had high expectations on the mens doubles Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah, Chong Ming-Kien Keat and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Lin Woon Fui.
At the last world meet, our hope rested only on one pair (Chong Ming-Kien Keat, who did well to reach the semi-finals). Then, Rexy (Mainaky) had only joined us for two months. Now, we have three pairs with equal chances of winning the world title, said Kim Hock.
In the mens singles, our main hope (Lee) Chong Wei has showed much improvement. We can expect the best from him here.
Besides Chong Wei, the other men singles players in the fray are Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Kuan Beng Hong.
All the other teams have arrived here too.
It is going to be an interesting year for Malaysian badminton at the world meet, added Kim Hock.