PETALING JAYA: The national back-up shuttlers may have to wait longer for their return to training at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM).
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) are still uncertain if they will be allowed to proceed with plans to facilitate the return their next batch of players on June 15.
The first group of shuttlers under the Road to Tokyo (RTT) programme restarted their training last Monday.
A total of 38 people, including athletes, coaches and support staff are all housed at ABM for a one-month quarantine-like training camp with stringent rules.
The seven RTT shuttlers are men’s singles Lee Zii Jia, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles), Soniia Cheah (women’s singles), Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean (women’s doubles) and Goh Soon Huat (mixed doubles).
Soon Huat’s partner Shevon Lai has deferred her return as she is recovering from dengue fever.
Also back in training are Cheam June Wei (men’s singles), Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani (men’s doubles), S. Kisona (women’s singles), Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen (women’s doubles) and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles) – all playing their role as sparring partners while preparing for the Thomas-Uber Cup.
BAM secretary Datuk Kenny Goh said that although the initial plan was to bring the second group of players back to kickstart the preparations for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Denmark from Oct 3-11, they will still need the blessings of the National Sports Council (NSC).
“We need to discuss the matter with NSC as, at the moment, the RTT programme is ongoing and I’m made to understand that we cannot let these new players mingle with those who have already been quarantined, ” said Kenny.
“It’s so far, so good after one week. It’s important to make sure the RTT programme is a success in term of conducive training and adherence of SOP.
“Thus, we need some time to monitor these progress and then make decisions more objectively.”
Kenny however, said there was no cause for concern even if there’s a delay.
“The most important thing is we already have a plan in place. Therefore we are quite ready for any dates, ” he said.
“At the end of the day, the health and well-being of the players, coaches and all supporting staffs are the most important”.
The arrival of newly-appointed men’s doubles head coach Flandi Limpele will also be delayed as the country’s borders remain shut under the recovery movement control order.
“He is fully aware of the situation and he is ready to fly in any time, ” said Kenny.
Former Olympics bronze medallist Flandi, who previously coached India, has been brought in to replace compatriot Paulus Firman.
Paulus was moved to head the mixed doubles department.
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