Thomas Cup: Tze Yong dropped, Hon Jian takes over

Tze Yong had to undergo an MRI scan to determine whether he would be fit to play.

19 Apr 2024 03:06pm
Tze Yong - Photo by Bernama
Tze Yong - Photo by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR - The national badminton squad has been dealt a heavy blow as Ng Tze Yong was forced to skip the Thomas Cup 2024 due to injury. He has been replaced by doubles player Choong Hon Jian.

Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) coaching director Rexy Mainaky said the decision to drop Tze Yong, the Arctic Open 2023 runner-up, was made at a meeting yesterday.

"We dropped him because he is not in a position to play. This decision was taken after thorough discussions involving the coaches and management.

"We selected Hon Jian based on discussions with the doubles and singles coaches as well as the management," he told reporters at ABM in Bukit Kiara here today.

On Tuesday, Rexy said the world number 18 Tze Yong had to undergo an MRI scan to determine whether he would be fit to play.

Tze Yong had undergone surgery to treat a back injury he suffered at the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) 2024 in Shah Alam last February.

Rexy said the national players remain positive about their Thomas Cup assignment in China despite the latest setback.

He hoped that Hon Jian, 23, would be able to join the centralised training camp at ABM as soon as possible.

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"People think our team are in disarray but we remain focused and our training camp is going well. We are going to the Thomas Cup as one of the contenders to lift the trophy.

He said doubles player Soh Wooi Yik has been picked as the team captain.

Asked about Malaysia's opening match against Hong Kong, he said it will not be easy but expects Malaysia to win 3-2 or 4-1.

"It will be tricky but beating Hong Kong means we will have one foot into the quarter-finals. We hope to get two points from singles through Zii Jia and Jun Hao," he added.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), Rexy said the 24-year-old Tze Yong had been diagnosed with a very rare condition after undergoing endoscopic spine surgery.

"Following consultation both with the National Sports Institute (NSI) doctor as well as the doctor who operated on him, Tze Yong will now undergo a surgical approach to improve his symptoms and advance his rehabilitation.

"As a result, Tze Yong will have to undergo surgery and has been excluded from the Thomas Cup squad.

"Tze Yong's health and well-being is the absolute priority. It is unfortunate he has suffered this, but we must do what's best for Tze Yong and make sure he makes a full recovery," he said.

BAM had earlier named Lee Zii Jia, Tze Yong, Leong Jun Hao, Cheam June Wei, Justin Hoh, Aaron Chia-Wooi Yik, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, Muhammad Haikal Nazri to the Thomas Cup squad.

Malaysia have been drawn in Group D together with 2016 champions Denmark, Hong Kong and Algeria.

The Thomas Cup will be held in Chengdu from April 27 to May 5. - BERNAMA