Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) did not organize enough tournaments to satisfy badminton fans and to provide players enough warm-ups before the Tokyo Olympics, but the coaching director of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Wong Choong Hann, wasn’t worried about it.
After the Malaysia Open was postponed, on Wednesday, BWF had announced the cancellation of the Singapore Open, scheduled to be held from June 1 to June 6, to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Wong said the Malaysian players have learned to cope with the new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Personally I feel like no tournaments before the Olympics is not a big deal and even the players already have experience going through situations like this when there is a change at the last minute,” said Wong.
“After all, our players have already played in tournaments in Europe and in Thailand earlier this year,” added Wong.
“In other words, yes, it’s true that we haven’t competed in any tournaments for a long time, but not for a year. At least we have played in the tournaments before these postponements and cancellations,” continued Wong.
“I believe our situation is better than other countries which have never played at all or played only in Thailand. So, we are very calm in the middle of this COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Wong.
Malaysian players who will compete in the Tokyo Olympics such as World No. 8 men’s singles Lee Zii Jia; World No. 35 women’s singles Soniia Cheah, World No. 9 men’s doubles, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, and World No. 11 women’s doubles, Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean, and World No. 7 mixed doubles pair, Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying had competed at the YONEX and Toyota Thailand Open in January this year. Lee Zii Jia, Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik, Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean then stayed in Bangkok to compete in the BWF World Tour Finals.
They also competed in the Swiss Open in March.
After the Swiss Open, Lee Zii Jia participated at the 2021 All England that which saw him emerged as the men’s singles champion, and Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying were able to advance to the All England semi-finals while Soniia Cheah lost to PV Sindhu of India in the first round. Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik and Chow Mei Kuan/Lee Meng Yean did not take part in the All England.