KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is now eyeing a fourth badminton gold medal from national badminton champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
It had earlier targeted three gold medals from the mixed team, men's doubles and women's doubles and on further review, the world number two player is a good bet for gold as well.
BAM president, Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said the earlier target was three gold medals but he believed Chong Wei would do his best to raise the gold medal haul.
“I know he could do it, but we do not want to put him under pressure and the three gold target was deemed realistic initially.
"The target was based on the comprehensive preparations the players have gone through,” he told reporters after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between BAM and Senheng Malaysia.
The two-year MoU which takes effect this year until 2019 involved the sponsorship of electrical appliances for tournaments organised by BAM as well as the training of players at Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM).
Mohamad Norza said winning the men's singles gold medal would be a bonus as there would very stiff challenge from India's players.
Chong Wei was quoted by local media as saying yesterday that he had set his target for two gold medals this time to bring his personal gold medal collection to six, which would make him the best Malaysian athlete in the history of Commonwealth Games.
BAM has listed five men and five women players to the championships led by Chong Wei, Tan Wee Kiong, Goh V Shem, Chan Peng Soon, Tan Kian Meng (men), Goh Liu Ying, Lai Pei Jing, Goh Jin Wei, Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei (women).
In 2010 edition, Malaysia claimed four gold medals, the best badminton outing through Chong Wei, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (men's doubles), Chin Eei Hui-Koo Kien Keat (mixed doubles) and mixed team.
Meanwhile, he said BAM had sent a protest letter to Badminton World Federation (BWF) to seek an explanation over the barring of its representative, Jadadish Chandra from the second session hearing in the matching-fixing case involving two Malaysian professional players.
“We have sent the letter to BWF, basically to verify why did Chandra had been rejected from the hearing process. However, a decision on the hearing would made soon. I think it should be in the next one or two weeks,” he told reporters at ABM.
On February 27, BAM observer, Chandra was barred from entering the hearing room on the second day of the case’s proceeding.
BWF apparently made the decision because Chandra spoke to the Malaysian media who wanted to know the development of the case involving local professional players Zulfadli Zulkiffli and Tan Chun Seang who faced life suspension from badminton if convicted. — Bernama