KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria wants the men’s team to qualify for the 2018 Thomas Cup finals on merit.
“I want to qualify on merit and not via the back door. I do not need passengers in the team. Sure, we can depend on our ranking should we fail to qualify,” he told reporters after chairing the Coaching & Training Committee (C&T) meeting at Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM) here, yesterday.
The men’s team will have to finish in the top four in Badminton Asia Team Championships in Alor Setar from Feb 6-11 to earn automatic qualification to the 2018 Thomas Cup finals in Bangkok in May.
Korea is ranked world number 1 followed by China (2), Japan (3), Thailand (4), Denmark (5), Chinese Taipei (6), Malaysia (7), Indonesia (8), India (9) and Hong Kong (10).
Norza said National Sports Institute (NSI) psychologist Dr Tim Jones told the meeting that the national players possess world class skills but find it difficult to maintain their fitness in matches.
“However, I am confident that Lee Zii Jia can contribute to the team as he is the country’s second best singles player after Datuk Lee Chong Wei. His performance throughout last year (2017) was outstanding.
“I also expect Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi to win points for the team. If they give a good performance, I am sure that we stand a good chance,” he added. — Bernama