KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 ― The national badminton men's squad can make an impact in the Thomas Cup campaign in Aarhus, Denmark, next month based on their participation in intensive training sessions and internal competitions so far.
Badminton Association Malaysia (BAM) president, Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said the national squad had what it takes to put up a better performance in the prestigious men's and women's competition, especially with the inclusion of several professional players such as ex-national shuttlers, Liew Daren and Soong Joo Ven, to beef up the team.
“BAM also held discussions with some of the professional players to overcome any problems which could hinder Malaysia's chance of achieving better results in the Thomas Cup campaign,” he told reporters at the Akademi Badminton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara, here, today after meeting the 27 players who will participate in a four-day motivational camp in Pulau Tioman, Pahang starting tomorrow.
In the 2018 edition in Bangkok, Malaysia failed to achieve their semi-final target following a 1-3 defeat to Indonesia in the quarter-final tie.
Earlier in his speech, he advised the national players not to get too comfortable since their place in the Thomas Cup has not been guaranteed yet as they would still need to compete with the professional players.
BAM is set to name the final squad for both the Thomas and Uber Cup campaigns after the motivational camp.
BWF has set Sept 18 as the deadline for competing countries to send the full squad list for the Thomas and Uber Cup competitions.
Malaysia have been drawn in Group A with traditional rivals, Indonesia who are the 13-time champions, in addition to the Netherlands and England in the Thomas Cup tournament which would take place from October 3-11.
The national women's squad will face a more difficult task as they are drawn in group B, along with South Korea, Indonesia and Australia.
Based on the tournament format, the top two teams in each group qualify for the quarterfinals.
Malaysia have won the Thomas Cup five times ― 1949, 1952, 1955, 1967 and 1992 while the women's squad have never won the Uber Cup since its introduction in 1957 in England. ― Bernama