Monday, 17 March 2014 | MYT 9:31 PM
Crocked Iskandar out of contention for Thomas Cup
Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin picked up an hamstring injury during the India Open GP Gold in January. - filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin has blown away his chance of qualifying for the Thomas Cup Finals after picking up a hamstring injury.
The 23-year-old confirmed yesterday that he would skip the selection trials scheduled for Wednesday at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara.
The country’s top men singles back-up shuttler will thus miss the chance of winning the last slot for the men’s singles for the Finals in New Delhi from May 16-26.
So far, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have confirmed three players – three-time All-England champion Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren – for the biennial world team event.
Without Iskandar, the others left in the fray to fight for the last ticket are BAM’s Goh Soon Huat and five independent shuttlers – reigning Romanian International champion Misbun Ramdan Misbun, former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif, Chan Kwong Beng and Tan Chun Seang.
Based on current form, Ramdan looks good to make his maiden Finals appearance.
Iskandar, the world No. 56, was dejected to miss the trials.
“I picked up a hamstring injury during the India Open Grand Prix Gold (Jan 21-26). Then last Friday, I aggravated it. I was advised not to take any risk. I need about six weeks of rehabilitation to get better.
“I had sleepless night over the last two days just thinking about the trials. I really wanted badly to feature in my first Finals.
“I am disappointed but I am not giving up my dream. I guess I will just have to wait for another two years,” he said.
Iskandar has also pulled out of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold from March 20-25.
If all goes well, Iskandar is set to play in the China Masters Grand Prix Gold in Jiangsu from April 15-20 and Asian Badminton Championships in Gimcheon, South Korea, from April 22-27.