Fit-again Iskandar to play in Sudirman Cup

PETALING JAYA: Shuttler Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin (pic) is going to the Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast, Australia, after all.

The world No. 36, who has just recovered from a back injury, was initially left out of the world mixed team championships from May 21-28. He was only scheduled to return to action at the Thailand Open from May 30-June 4.

But the coaches have now given Iskandar the green light to join the squad for the Sudirman Cup. The 25-year-old will be the No. 2 in the men’s singles to world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei.

“I’ve been making good progress with my recovery. My back is still a bit stiff but I’ve been doing full training for the last three weeks,” said Iskandar.

“It’s a dream come true to compete in the Sudirman Cup. I enjoy playing in team events and I’ve got a decent record. I’m all pumped up for it and I’m ready to play if Chong Wei is rested.

“But there’s still work to be done because I haven’t played for so long. I need to regain my rhythm and I’ve been doing a lot of match plays during training to build up my momentum,” added Iskandar whose last tournament was the Macau Open in November.

Besides Chong Wei and Iskandar, the other shuttlers in the team are Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles); Goh Jin Wei and Soniia Cheah (women’s singles); Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei and Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (women’s doubles) and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, Chan Peng Soon and Cheah Yee See (mixed doubles).

Malaysia, whose beat result was a semi-final appearance in 2009, are in Group C with Japan and Germany. They face Germany in their first match on May 23.