Kuala Lumpur: Despite concerns from several former national coaches that sending a young squad to the Badminton Asian Team Championships (BATC) in India next month would jeopardize Malaysia’s chances of qualifying for the Thomas Cup Finals slated to be held in Kunshan, China from May 15-22; Technical Director of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Morten Frost Hansen however remained optimistic about his team’s capabilities of making the prestigious biennial Thomas Cup finals.
“We are currently ranked No. 6 in the world, I don’t see why we can’t grab one of the qualification spot allocated for Asia,” said Morten Frost.
Europe and Asia each received four slots in the Thomas Cup Finals for the best four teams in that respective continent. The defending champions – Japan and the host – China, have already qualified for the Thomas Cup finals automatically. On the other hand, only the continental champions from Oceania, Pan-American and Africa will qualified for the finals in China.
When asked about the inclusion of two 20-year-old Soo Teck Zhi and Soong Joo Ven for BATC, Frost said those two players were selected because they have made good improvement in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.
“I understand that they did not win any huge tournaments last year, but they have moved positively in the world rankings, that’s why we want to give them more exposure to play in BATC to gain more experience,” added Frost.