Friday, January 23, 2015

Independent shuttlers given chance to feature in two major events this year

KUALA LUMPUR: This is one chance the independent players must grab with both hands.
They will get a chance to represent the country in two major events this year – the Singapore SEA Games in June and the Sudirman Cup in May.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) announced that invitations would be sent out Friday to eight independent shuttlers to attend a fitness test on Feb 4-5. They are national champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli, Mohd Arif Abdul Arif, Tan Chun Seang, Misbun Ramdan Misbun (men’s singles); Lydia Cheah, Sannatasah Saniru (women’s singles); and national men’s doubles champions Mak Hee Chun-Tan Bin Shen.

If they pass the fitness test, they will then have to attend a trial, at a date to be fixed soon, to challenge the national players for the two majors.

With the national players having produced some weak performances of late, these group of independent players have a “real” chance of making the breakthrough and justifying the faith of their sponsors.

BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai, the newly-appointed project manager, said that BAM players would also undergo the fitness test on the same days.

“We will be open with the selection process. We want the best players from either BAM or the professional clubs to represent Malaysia at the SEA Games and Sudirman Cup,” he said.
Chin Chai also said that a second fitness test would be conducted before the World Championships in Indonesia in August.

“This is for the BAM players. A player may qualify for the world meet but if he fails the fitness test, he or she will be dropped,” said Chin Chai.

“We’ve decided to conduct two fitness tests a year to keep their national players on their toes.”
With the selection now open to independent players, the national shuttlers must be feeling the heat.
Currently, two of the top men’s singles shuttlers – Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren – are already under fire.

Wei Feng went down in the third round to Arif in the Malaysian Open Grand Prix Gold in Kuching last week while Daren’s miserable form continued from the Malaysian Open GP Gold to the ongoing Indian Open GP Gold in Lucknow, where he crashed out in the second round to R.M.V. Gurusaidutt of India.

In the Kuching tournament, he lost to India’s Ajay Jayaram.

Men’s doubles shuttlers Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem and Lim Khim Wah-Ow Yao Han also failed to live up to expectations in the back-to-back Open tournaments.

by Rajes - The Star

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