Wednesday, May 6, 2015

BAM’s Frost goes for youth once again in SEA Games

Filepic of national singles shuttler, 15-year-old Goh Jin Wei in action during the Kopiko Purple League in February.
Filepic of national singles shuttler, 15-year-old Goh Jin Wei in action during the Kopiko Purple League in February.

KUALA LUMPUR: Youth is the name of the game. And Morten Frost continues his policy by naming three youngsters for next month’s Singapore SEA Games.

Last week, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director named 18-year-old Cheam June Wei and 20-year-old Lim Yin Fun for the Sudirman Cup mixed team event in Dongguan, China, from May 10-17.

On Tuesday, Frost finalised his 20-member team for the June 5-16 Games with Yin Fun, 19-year-old Ho Yen Mei and 15-year-old Goh Jin Wei all set to make their debut.

Selecting Jin Wei is a bold, but logical choice. The pint-sized Penangite has already upstaged several of her seniors, including winning the Kuala Lumpur Open in February.

Frost is also throwing Jin Wei into the deep end. Besides the women’s team event, Jin Wei will also be competing in the women’s singles event with Jing Yi.

“Jin Wei is only 15, but she’s good. She’ll be the youngest player to make her debut at the Games. I’m looking forward to seeing her in action,” said Frost.

“She will play in the individual event, but it’s not final yet. This is our plan for now and we can still change the selections in case there are any unforeseen circumstances,” added the Dane.

There were no surprises in the men’s team with former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei heading the cast. He is joined by Chong Wei Feng, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and Mohd Arif Abdul Latif (singles) and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Teo Kok Siang-Mak Hee Chun (doubles).

Chong Wei will, however, skip the individual event with Wei Feng and Arif being tasked with delivering the gold. Malaysia last won the singles gold through Roslin Hashim in 2001.

“Chong Wei will only compete in the team event because we’re planning to send him to the US Open (June 16-21). There is a clash of dates and we’ve to take into account the travelling time and jetlag,” explained Frost.

“I’m happy with the selection, especially with Arif as he has been performing better than some of the BAM players. He deserves the spot.

“Ultimately, I want to see the players show commitment and work hard to win honours. We want to win as many gold medals as possible. I’m hoping to see Malaysia reach four finals – the men’s team, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles,” added Frost.

Meanwhile, the BAM have sent a letter to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) requesting for a wildcard for Chong Wei at the World Championships in Jakarta from Aug 10-16. The BWF are expected to announce their decision on Thursday or Friday.

SEA Games Squads
Men’s team: Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Mak Hee Chun, Teo Kok Siang, Chan Peng Soon, Tan Aik Quan.

Women’s team: Tee Jing Yi, Lim Yin Fun, Ho Yen Mei, Goh Jin Wei, Vivian Hoo, Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Alicia Anscelly, Soong Fie Cho, Goh Liu Ying, Lai Pei Jing.

by Kng Zheng Guan - The Star

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