Rashid: We are not strong enough to reach Thomas Cup final

Left are Rashid Sidek and Rosman Razak

KUALA LUMPUR: Former national singles coach Rashid Sidek feels that Malaysia are not good enough to make the final of the Thomas Cup in Kunshan, China.

Rashid, who featured in the 1992 Thomas Cup-winning squad, is of the opinion that the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) could have done a better job with their team selection, especially for the fourth singles and third doubles spots.

“The team look all right but, if you ask me, I don’t think this line-up is good enough to reach the final. We should be able to reach the semi-finals ... but not the final,” Rashid said after an official event to announce him and Rosman Razak as the new singles and doubles head coaches for the AirAsia Badminton Academy.

Rashid, who bagged a bronze in men’s singles at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, believes that former world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli would have been a better option instead of Goh Soon Huat and that a better pair could replace Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin.

“I understand BAM’s rationale behind the selection of Chong Wei Feng. I’ve got no problem with that, but Soon Huat?,” said Rashid.

Malaysia's Zulfadli Zulkiffli in action against Indonesia's Christie Jonatan during the qualifying round of Celcom Axiata Malaysian open at Malawati stadium in Shah Alam yesterday.Zulfadli Zulkiffli lost 10-21,25-27.(05/04/2016/S.S.KANESAN/The Star)
Rashid believes Zulfadli (picture) should be included in the line-up in Kunshan.

“What has he proven? I feel Zulfadli has done better by beating some top players recently.

“Anyway, the squad have already been finalised. We wish them all the best and see how it goes.”

The other shuttlers in the squad are newly-crowned Asian champion Lee Chong Wei, national No. 2 Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong.

Malaysia are in Group C for the Thomas Cup Finals alongside South Korea, England and Germany.

Malaysia will begin their campaign against England on May 15 and Germany the next day.

They wrap up their group fixture against South Korea on May 17.

In New Delhi two years ago, Malaysia surprised everyone by reaching the final before going down 3-2 to Japan.

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