BUKIT JALIL: Russian Vladimir Ivanov had only five hours of sleep before playing in the qualifiers.
However, that did not stop the tall and valiant Ivanov from making it to the main draw of the Maybank Malaysian Open at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old won his two qualifying matches – beating Malaysia’s Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif 10-21, 21-12, 23-21 and Hong Kong’s Chan Yan Kit 21-16, 21-17 – to set up a match against Japan’s Kenichi Tago.
“Both matches were hard for me as I only had five hours of sleep after arriving in Malaysia at 2am. Thankfully, I did not fall asleep on the courts today,” joked Ivanov.
KUALA LUMPUR: Some of the back-up shuttlers are in danger of being booted out of the national badminton team.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will be conducting an open selection trials at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara from Jan 20-24 and all the states have been asked to send their best players to challenge the back-up shuttlers.
Talent search programme chief David Wee said the trials would be closely monitored by the national coaches.
“We are trying out this open selection trials for the first time. It is a transparent way of selecting the players for the national team and we hope that the best will get in. If a state player can beat the national back-up player, he or she will be invited to join the national team and the back-up player will be dropped,” said David.
JOHOR BARU: Their trip down south on Saturday took a detour to Malacca when they made a stop at Machap to play exhibition matches at the launching of Malaysia Love Badminton Campaign by Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai.
The campaign is held in conjunction with the Machap by-election campaign.