BAM lowers 2019 SEA Games target by one gold

The latest development was announced by its president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria at a media conference after a BAM council meeting today. — Bernama pic
The latest development was announced by its president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria at a media conference after a BAM council meeting today. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), which has earlier set a two-gold medal target for the 2019 SEA Games scheduled at the end of this month, has decided to cut it down to one gold.

The latest development was announced by its president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria at a media conference after a BAM council meeting at the Malaysia Badminton Academy (ABM) here today.

The target of the national badminton squad was cut down after women’s singles defending champion, Goh Jin Wei could not join the squad after a stomach operation last month.  

The 19-year-old player who was a two-time world junior champion, has been struggling with the stomach ailment since January before going for an operation in mid-October.

However, Mohamad Norza did not rule out players such as Lee Jii Zia (men’s singles), Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Jemie Lai (mixed doubles) and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles) to deliver a gold.

“Today, is the second time Goh and Shevon have defeated the top Thai pair of Dechapol Puavaranukroh-Sapsiree Taerattanachai at the Hong Kong Open, that’s a very encouraging sign. But we do not want to put unnecessary pressure on our players, they are young...If they prepare themselves well mentally and physically, they can spring a surprise,” he said.

Malaysia bagged one gold, five silver and two bronze medals in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Norza said the meeting also asked Development Committee chairman Datuk Ng Chin Chai to conduct a post-mortem on the national junior squad’s poor performance at the Asian Junior Championship in China and the World Junior Championship in Kazan, Russia.

“We want to know the level of performance of our players compared to players from other countries, the weaknesses of our players and practice of other countries to improve our development programme.

“We have also decided to identify a junior development supremo to look into our development programme in conjunction with the moving our junior shuttlers from Bukit Jalil (Sports School) to ABM by January next year,” he said.

Mohamad Norza said that the young players who are moving to ABM, will study at the Regent International School from year seven to 11 before sitting for IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) examination. ­— Bernama

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