Friday, 21 March 2014 | MYT 5:58 PM
Soon Huat’s set for a spot in Thomas Cup squad
Goh Soon Huat showed speed and power to beat former international Tan Chun Seang 21-14, 21-13 to finish tops in the three-day Thomas Cup selections trials at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara on Friday.
KUALA LUMPUR: Back-up shuttler Goh Soon Huat is set to be included in the Malaysian team for the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi from May 18-25.
The 24-year-old showed speed and power to beat former international Tan Chun Seang 21-14, 21-13 to finish tops in the three-day selections trials at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara on Friday. It was his second win after having beaten former international Mohd Arif Abdul Latif on Wednesday.
Two others – former national champion Misbun Ramdan Misbun and former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli – blew their chances to make their maiden appearances in the Finals when they pulled out of the trials. Both independent shuttlers showed up at the stadium on Friday but withdrew because of illness.
The coaches will now submit Soon Huat’s name to the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) for approval. Based on his fighting display and steely determination, he is likely to be endorsed as the fourth men’s singles player for the Finals.
World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng and Liew Daren have confirmed their places. The closing date to submit the players’ names to Badminton World Federation (BWF) is May 4.
Soon Huat said that he had done his best and would leave his fate to the coaches.
“Based on my first-place finish in the trials, I have strengthened my chances of representing the country in the Finals as the fourth ranked player. I am quite excited about it,” said Soon Huat, who is troubled by a knee injury.
“I was a sparring partner for the team when the Finals was held in Wuhan (2012). I saw and experienced the atmosphere during the Finals. I am looking forward to a taste of it now as a member of the team.”
Soon Huat did well last year when he reached the final of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold at Juara Stadium but an illness hampered his progress. He suffered constant dizzy spells and even fainted while in action during the Indonesia Open GP Gold in September. Due to his condition, the world No. 105 only competed in seven international tournaments for the last one year.
“The doctors found a blood clot in the area near my brain. It could have been because of a hard fall when I was younger or it could have been a virus, but the doctors could not confirm it. I went for a surgery in October to have the blood clot removed.
“I am playing better now and hope to keep the momentum going,” said Soon Huat, who will next take part in the Malaysia Open GP at Pasir Gudang on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Ow Yao Han-Chan Peng Soon were the winners of the men’s doubles trials. They defeated Low Juan Shen-Nelson Heg Wei Keat 19-21, 21-16, 21-18 to keep their unbeaten run intact on Friday.
Two pairs – Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem and Tan Boon Heong – have already confirmed their places for the Finals, leaving the coaches to pick either Yao Han or Peng Soon for the fifth spot.
THE TENTATIVE LIST
Singles: Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng, Liew Daren, Goh Soon Huat.
Doubles: Hoon Thien How-Tan Wee Kiong, Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem, Tan Boon Heong, Chan Peng Soon or Ow Yao Han.
Singles: Tee Jing Yi, Yang Li Lian, Lim Chiew Sien, Lim Yin Fun.
Doubles: Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo, Ng Hui Lin-Ng Hui Ern, Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho.