Badminton: Semi-finals target for Malaysia at Asian Mixed Team ChampionshipsBERNAMA
01 Feb 2023 05:11pm
National doubles pair Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin in action against Chinese pair Liang Wei Keng-Wang Chang at the recent Malaysia Open at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil. The pair have since been split and both are awaiting a BAM decision on new partnerships. - BERNAMA
BAM high performance director Dr Tim Jones also hoped to see the star-studded squad top Group B, which includes India, Kazakhstan and hosts, UAE.
While India might be considered their main rivals in the group stage, Jones believed that the national shuttlers have what it takes to overcome their strongest opponents in the tournament to be held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre.
"We need to get a lot of analysis done on Indian pairs, and those players, we know them quite well, we’ve got a good history against some of the Indian players, so we still feel confident.
"Obviously we want to try to top the group to make the draw easy for us to get through to the semi-final. We can’t afford to have a shaky result in the group stage as we need to win every game,” he told reporters here, today.
Among the big names to represent Malaysia at the BAMTC are men’s singles professional ace, Lee Zii Jia, reigning men’s doubles world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, national top women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah and former Youth Olympics women’s singles gold medallist Goh Jin Wei.
Meanwhile, Jones said BAM would help Zii Jia build his confidence during the centralised training camp which begins next week, following a series of poor results that saw the player failing to clear the early stages in the Malaysia Open, India Open and Indonesia Masters.
On the other hand, the former National Sports Institute (ISN) senior physiologist believed that another men’s singles shuttler in the squad, Leong Jun Hao, would perform to his best in Dubai after he was sent packing in the qualifying round of the Thailand Masters yesterday, losing 22-24, 19-21 to independent player Yeoh Seng Zoe, in an all Malaysian affair.
"It was unfortunate to see yesterday’s result for Jun Hao but I think we see that recently, a bad performance can spur them to have a better performance later on.
"If you look at Aaron-Wooi Yik and Pearly-Thinaah for example, they didn’t have a favourable result in the last Malaysia Open but then they can bounce back. I think Jun Hao is a fighter and he is someone who can raise his ability up to his level,” he said.
Jones said the one-week centralised training camp was enough for all players to form a good chemistry, as all the professional shuttlers that were called up for the BAMTC were previously part of BAM.Malaysia have never won the tournament, losing in the quarter-finals of the first edition in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2017, and bowed out at the same stage in the 2019 edition in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, doubles player Goh Sze Fei said being split from his playing partner Nur Izzuddin Rumsani will not end his dreams of playing in the Olympics, despite it effectively ending his dreams of playing in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
While patiently waiting for the arrival of his new partner, the 25-year-old shuttler said the door is not closed for him to play in the Olympics as he vowed to qualify for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
"Yes, why not, but I have to discuss with the coach first on who will be my partner next," he told reporters, here, today.
Asked about what type of player suit his playing style, Sze Fei, who often plays in the front, hopes to see the coaching team find him a player who is able to play and attack from the back.
Sze Fei also said that he will definitely bear the responsibility of guiding young shuttlers to reach their best level, should the coaching team decide to find a partner who is young.
However, the 2022 German Open champion hoped to share the same goal with his partner in a bid to have a successful chapter, including winning titles for many years to come. - BERNAMA
Malaysian national football team head coach Kim Pan Gon (left) and captain Dion Cools address a press conference ahead of the Tier 1 international friendly against Turkmenistan at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Johor Baru. - Pic: BERNAMA
France's forward Kylian Mbappe takes part in a training session in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines on March 21, as part of the team's preparation for upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 football tournament qualifying matches. Pic: AFP