KUALA LUMPUR: Cheam June Wei insists he fully deserves to be the second choice in the men’s singles for the Sudirman Cup.
The 22-year-old, who flew with the squad to Nanning, China, yesterday, proved his mettle when he led the men’s singles charge at the Asian Mixed Team Championships in Hong Kong last month.
In the group stage, the world No. 91 stunned China’s No. 19 Lu Guangzu.
In his second game, he almost created another upset when he stretched Japan’s world No. 11 Kanta Tsuneyama to three games.
But some badminton fans have questioned the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s decision to field June Wei behind national No. 1 Lee Zii Jia.
They said that independent shuttler and 31-year-old Liew Daren should have been given the spot.
“I’m sure he will not disappoint but the BAM have decided to give us young players a chance and I’m going to take it,” said June Wei.
“I’m excited to represent Malaysia again after a lapse of four years.
“I’m ready to shoulder the responsibility.”
June Wei said his experience at the Asian Mixed Team Championships has given him more confidence.
“I’ve improved as a player since then, especially when it comes to playing in major team events.
“Mentally, I’m now more prepared when it comes to representing the country.”
Malaysia are drawn in Group D with 10-time winners China and India.
Should June Wei get the nod to play, he will be up against some very tough opponents in Olympic champion and world No. 4 Chen Long or world No. 2 Shi Yuqi, and India’s world No. 9 K. Srikanth.
“A tough group and it’s going to be tricky.
“Whether I get to play, will depend on the coaches and what strategy they want to use.
“But if I get the nod, you can be sure I will not let the team down.”