National men's singles player Liew Daren has been exempted from attending the Thomas Cup selection trials on March 19, according to BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) insist that they have been fair with the selection of players for the World Junior Championships from April 7-18 at Alor Setar.
BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai said on Thursday that players from four different states were invited for a four-day selection trial for the world junior meet.
The trial, which was held at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara, ended on Wednesday, the same day that Looi Badminton Academy managing director Datuk Jack Koh expressed his disappointment that his club players were not invited for the selection despite his request.
Chin Chai said that BAM’s talent search working committee, headed by David Wee, had drawn up a list of criteria for the selection of shuttlers during a meeting last week.
“We looked at different aspects of the players’ performances over the last one year. We had records of the players’ international and local results and their junior rankings. Their overall training and attitude were also taken into consideration,” said Chin Chai.
“We exempted some BAM players from the trial because we have earmarked them for the Olympic Youth Games (in Nanjing in September). The world junior meet is one of the qualifying tournaments for the Youth Olympic Games.
“During that meeting, we decided not to have a trial for the girls because the standard of the BAM players were higher. For the boys, however, we identified two singles and two doubles players from outside, who had done well. We invited them for the trial.
“Our coaches tend to be protective of their own players but we told them that they have nothing to be worried if their players were good enough. We are open with our selection process.”
The squad for the world junior meet will be announced before the closing date on March 25.
Meanwhile, Chin Chai said that Liew Daren will be exempted from the Thomas Cup Finals selection trial, scheduled for March 19. The others assured of their spots are world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and Chong Wei Feng.
Two BAM players – Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and Goh Soon Huat – will compete in the trial for the one remaining men’s singles slot. They will be challenged by five independent shuttlers – Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Zulfadli Zulkifli, Tan Chun Seang, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif and Chan Kwong Beng.
“The trial will be conducted in a round-robin format. The top player after the round-robin will be given the spot to play in the Thomas Cup Finals,” said Chin Chai.
“In the men’s doubles, two pairs – Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem and Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong – are exempted from the trial. The others will take part in the round-robin format and the coaches will select two others to complete the cast in the men’s team.”
The independent shuttlers invited for the men’s doubles trial are Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Koo Kien Keat while the BAM players are Tan Boon Heong, Ow Yao Han, Chooi Kah Ming and Teo Ee Yi.