Kuala Lumpur: There’s no surprise, controversy or confusion, and it’s a roster free of eye-openers, head-scratchers or jaw-droppers.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has named a relatively stable team to the Badminton Asia Team Championships that will be held from 6th to 11th February in Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia.
That tournament is also known as the Asian Continental Qualifying event for the Thomas and Uber Cups Finals scheduled to be held from May 20 to May 27 in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Our goal is to select players that show fighting spirit and positive attitude and are determined to find a way to achieve what we want for the country,” said president of BAM, Mohamad Norza Zakaria, after chairing the Coaching and Training Committee (C&T) on Thursday.
As expected, Lee Chong Wei, Lee Zii Jia, Iskandar Zulkarnain and Soong Joo Ven will lead the challenge in the men’s singles while Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong, Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi, and Goh Sze Fei/Nur Izzuddin Rumsani will play in the men’s doubles category.
“I think we have a good roster. If we failed to qualify in Alor Setar, we can still make Thomas Cup Finals through the overall World rankings of our players. But, I would like our team to at least make the semi-finals at the tournament,” added Zakaria.
When asked about the selection of Soong Joo Ven who has been struggling to make a name for himself in the men’s singles, Zakaria said the selection was based on the internal ranking held every week.
“We’ve given every player a fair chance, and the selection of Joo Ven is closely related to his recent mental and physical strength. I also gave my full support to Misbun Sidek to make his final decision.”
Zakaria also hoped that Iskandar Zulkarnain could bounce back from his slumped in the world rankings at the Badminton Asia Team Championships.