KUALA LUMPUR: Two singles back-up shuttlers Goh Soon Huat and Iskandar Zainuddin have been named for the Asian Games next month.
The 23-year-old Soon Huat and Iskandar will join world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and Chong Wei Feng for the trip to Incheon, South Korea.
The others in the men’s team are doubles shuttlers Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem, Hoon Thien How-Tan Boon Heong, Lim Khim Wah, Chan Peng Soon.
Soon Huat is a replacement for Liew Daren, who came under fire for his lacklustre display at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Daren had gone down meekly to eventual champion P. Kashyap of India in the quarter-finals.
Soon Huat said he was ready to play a more prominent role in a major event. He featured at the Thomas Cup Finals in New Delhi in May but played only once in a group tie.
“It is my second major tournament this year. Iskandar and I will be playing the third singles depending on the coaches’ strategy in the team event,” said Soon Huat, who finished as the runners-up at the 2013 Malaysian Open GP Gold.
“The responsibility is bigger this time but Iskandar and I will be ready. The experience of playing in the Thomas Cup will be handy for the Asiad,” he added.
At the Finals, Soon Huat played in a group tie against South Korea but lost to Hwang Jong-soo 21-23, 15-21.
For Iskandar, 23, it will be his first major tournament in his career but many are hoping he would use this Asiad platform to kick off his career. He had been bogged down with injuries since the start of the year.
At the last Games in Guangzhou, Malaysia won two silver medals through Chong Wei and Koo Kien Keat-Boon Heong.