Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is likely to field a team consisted of young players for the Sudirman Cup, scheduled to take place in Vantaa, Finland from September 26 to October 3, and the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus, Denmark from October 9 to October 17.
The BAM’s coaching director, Wong Choong Hann, believed this group of young players are capable enough to produce surprises at these prestigious team championships.
“The final list of players to be selected taking part in the two prestigious tournaments would be announced after the Coaching and Training (C&T) Committee meeting on Saturday,” said Wong.
“We are in the final evaluation on who would be selected based on multiple criteria, where one of the evaluations is based on the results from the internal ranking tournament which will end Friday,” added Wong.
“With the line-up, I admit we are not as strong as teams like Japan and Indonesia, but I believe our young players could produce some surprises,” said Wong optimistically.
Wong also told Malaysian media that the reason for BAM to list young players was to give them early exposure to play at big tournaments in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“We have finished one Olympic cycle (Tokyo 2020) and if we want to prepare for the new Olympic cycle (Paris 2024), we need to start from now.”
“These major tournaments will challenge the mentality and ability of the players to cope with stress at the highest level. This will be an important experience and platform for us to build the next generation of players,” explained Wong.
The Sudirman Cup competition will take place in Vantaa, Finland from September 26 to October 3 with Malaysia drawn in Group D alongside Japan, England, and Egypt.
As for the Thomas/Uber Cup competition, it will take place in Aarhus, Denmark from October 9 to October 17. Malaysia’s Thomas Cup team was drawn in Group D alongside Japan, Canada, and England while the Uber Cup team will meet China, Denmark, and Canada in Group D.