Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s badminton legend and former World No. 1 player – Lee Chong Wei supported the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) decision of sending young players to compete at the upcoming Sudirman Cup and Thomas & Uber Cup Finals. He said it was a good move to ensure those young players are fully aware of their obligations for making the country proud.
“Sending young players to those tournaments could give these them more exposure on the big stage, and in the long run, if they have enough potential, they may even develop into a world-class talent,” said Lee.
“Playing in team competitions is different from playing in individual tournaments because losing in an individual game only affects one person, but losing in a team game will affect the whole team, so everyone must take responsibility,” added Lee.
“I was Malaysia’s number one singles in Sudirman Cup and Thomas Cup for many years, and I know this very well,” explained Lee.
BAM has the option of fielding other experienced players such as World No. 35 and No. 75 men’s singles player Daren Liew and Soong Joo Ven; while World No. 13 and No. 15 men’s doubles pairs including Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong, and Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi also capable of scoring points for the Malaysian team. However, BAM seemed determined to churn out new talents and prepare these young players for the 2024 Parias Olympics by giving them opportunities to compete at the highest level of badminton.
In addition to men’s singles and men’s doubles players above, the Malaysian team would probably compete without other higher-ranked independent players, such as World No. 8 mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying, and World No. 34 Soniia Cheah in women’s singles.
“These young players have to start from somewhere, and this could be a good opportunity for them.”
Malaysia will be relying on the 2021 All England champion – Lee Zii Jia and the Tokyo Olympics men’s doubles bronze medallist Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik to be the leaders at these team events.
The Sudirman Cup will be held in Vantaa, Finland, between 26 September and 3 October 2021 while the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals will be in Aarhus, Denmark from October 9 to October 17.