Wednesday, 4 June 2014 | MYT 8:19 PM
Rashid believes shuttlers will deliver at CWG
Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong's impressive performances at the Thomas Cup have earned them a spot in the Commonwealth Games squad. - filepic
PETALING JAYA: The National Sports Council (NSC) are not highly optimistic of Malaysia’s chances in badminton at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July.
They are only expecting the shuttlers to bring home two gold medals out of the 10 targeted from the national contingent this time.
But national singles coach Rashid Sidek feels that his shuttlers are capable of delivering more than just the two targeted.
“The NSC have set us a two-gold medal target but we want to go for more. If possible, we want to maintain the four gold medals we achieved at the last two Commonwealth Games.
“It won’t be easy as England, India, and also Singapore in some events, will be our main rivals but I think our players are capable of getting more ... it depends on their form at that time,” said Rashid.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have selected a 10-member team for the Commonwealth Games.
Five of them were in the Thomas Cup team who surprised everyone by finishing runners-up to Japan in India last month. The five are world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng, Chan Peng Soon, Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem.
Four Uber Cup players – Tee Jing Yi, Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo and Lim Yin Loo – together with newcomer Lai Pei Jing make up the women’s squad.
The 21-year-old Pei Jing was given the nod to feature in her first major Games after her senior, Goh Liu Ying underwent surgery on both her knees on May 20 and is ruled out until the end of this year.
Scratch pair Wee Kiong-V Shem’s impressive performances at the Thomas Cup as well as their ranking as the second men’s doubles earned them a spot in the squad.
Rashid believes that Malaysia have a chance to defend the mixed team title if the women shuttlers, like Jing Yi and Khe Wei-Vivian, play their roles well.
“Jing Yi did well to beat higher ranked players to win all her three group matches at the Uber Cup last month,” he said.
“If she can maintain her form, I believe we can depend on her to get the women’s singles point.
“Our men’s singles (Chong Wei) and men’s doubles (V Shem-Wee Kiong) should deliver the other two points.”
The easiest gold Malaysia can expect to win at the Commonwealth Games should come from Chong Wei, who will be going for a third straight men’s singles title.
Malaysia should also seal victory in the men’s doubles, with only English pairs Chris Adcock-Andrew Ellis and Chris Langridge-Peter Mills, ranked 10th and 20th in the world, capable of providing serious opposition.
At the Games in New Delhi four years ago, the four gold medals Malaysia bagged came from Chong Wei (men’s singles), Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (men’s doubles), Kien Keat-Chin Eei Hui (mixed doubles) and the mixed team event.