KUALA LUMPUR: Youngsters Cheam June Wei and Lim Yin Fun were jumping for joy after being named in the Malaysian team for the Sudirman Cup in Dongguan, China, from May 10-17.
Yesterday, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost named a 14-member squad for the world mixed team event with four of the shuttlers aged between 18-22. The four – June Wei (men’s singles), Yin Fun (women’s singles) and Wong Fai Yin-Chow Mei Kuan (mixed doubles) – will be making their debut.
The others picked are Lee Chong Wei, Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem, Mak Hee Chun, Tee Jing Yi, Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo, Amelia Anscelly and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.
For the 32-year-old Chong Wei, it will be his first international meet in seven months. He has been cleared to play after serving an eight-month ban over a doping violation during the World Championships at Copenhagen last August.
The 18-year-old June Wei was thrilled and thankful for the chance.
“It’s a dream come true to be in the same team with my idol Chong Wei. This is my first major meet and I’ll cherish this opportunity,” said June Wei, a mixed double gold medallist at last year’s Youth Olympic Games.
“Although I am a reserve, the experience will be good for me. I hope to gain valuable tips from Chong Wei. This is a good start and I hope I can start winning honours in the next two years. I am determined to prove myself.”
The 20-year-old Yin Fun was also appreciative over the chance to come good on the big stage.
“This is my Sudirman Cup debut. There is a chance for me to play if Jing Yi is rested. I will be ready to step up,” said Yin Fun, who stunned world No. 20 Adrianti Firdasari of Indonesia in last year’s Kopiko Purple League.
Frost said he was impressed by the youngsters’ potential and progress.
“June Wei, Yin Fun and the mixed doubles pair of Fai Yin (22 years old) and Mew Kuan (21) have shown improvements and we hope that this experience will do them a world of good.
“The priority is for the A team to play and our goal is clear the group stage. But there could be opportunities for these youngsters to step up and I hope they will get the feel of the big tournament,” said Frost.
Malaysia are in Group D with South Korea and India.
Frost will name the Singapore SEA Games squad next Monday and more youngsters are expected to be given the break to compete. To date, only Chong Wei and independent shuttler Mohd Arif Abdul Latif have been confirmed for the June 5-16 Games.
THE NATIONAL SQUAD
Team manager: S. Selvaraj.
Coaches: Morten Frost (chief coach), Hendrawan (men’s singles), Jeremy Gan (men’s doubles).
Men’s singles: Lee Chong Wei, Cheam June Wei.
Men’s doubles: Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem, Mak Hee Chun.
Women’s singles: Tee Jing Yi, Lim Yin Fun.
Women’s doubles: Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo, Amelia Anscelly.
Mixed doubles: Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying, Wong Fai Yin-Chow Mei Kuan.
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