Kuala Lumpur: An uplifting Malaysian team departed for the 2019 Sudirman Cup in Nanning on Thursday, hoping to make some surprises as it has drawn into a pool that included badminton traditional powerhouse China and emerging power India, with only two teams able to advance to the knock out stage.
Despite the tough draw, the Badminton Association Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann offered his team some words of encouragement before leaving for China.
“Honestly, we are clearly not as good as China, but we should not be demoralized, instead, we should aim to play our best to potentially create some upsets,” said Wong at the at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) 2 on Thursday.
“On paper, we may end up with a 0-5 defeat when we open against China on Sunday. But, in reality, the result really depends on how our players perform,” added Wong.
“Our goal is try to beat India. The most important thing for us is to learn something from playing against China, therefore, we should not feel demoralized if we lose to China with a huge margin,” explained Wong.
However, it’s also not easy to overcome India as the Indian team was featured with World No. 9 men’s singles player Kidambi Srikanth, and they can player either World No. 5 PV Sindhu or World No. 9 Saina Nehwal in the women’s singles match.
“India is definitely very strong in singles, but we are a little better in the doubles categories,” said Wong.
Malaysia had never won the Sudirman Cup with the best achievement was reaching the semi-final in the 2009 edition in Guangzhou, China.