Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has called up eight Malaysian independent shuttlers including Daren Liew, Soong Joo Ven, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Ong Yew Sin, Teo Ee Yi, Chan Peng Soon, Goh Liu Ying to start practicing at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) on July 15th.
President of BAM, Norza Zakaria has confirmed that those shuttlers who were invited for the joint training were either very likely to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics or could be a strong help in strengthening Malaysia’s Thomas Cup team.
“We have included Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong and Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles), Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (mixed doubles), Daren Liew, Soong Joo Ven (men’s singles) for the joint training,” said BAM’s coaching director Wong Choong Hann to Malaysian media.
Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying who currently ranked No. 7 in the Race to Tokyo ranking, would most likely seal a spot in the Olympic mixed doubles competition, while Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong and Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi are now ranked No. 14 and No. 15 respectively in the Race to Tokyo men’s doubles ranking. To qualify for the Olympics, Goh/Tan and Ong/Teo would need to make it to top 8 rankings as another Malaysian pair, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik is ranked No. 8 in the Race to Tokyo rankings.
According to BWF, every county may enter up to a maximum of 2 pairs in the doubles event, provided both pairs are ranked in the top 8.
The decision of inviting Daren Liew and Soong Joo Ven would either be providing quality sparring partners to existing BAM players such as world No. 10 Lee Zii Jia, World No. 74 Cheam June Wei (No. 74), World No. 157 Leong Jun Hao (No. 157) and World No. 134 Ng Tze Yong or, their presence could further strengthen the depth of the Malaysian Thomas Cup squad, especially Liew and Soong are currently ranked World No.41 and World No. 67 respectively.