Win-win as indies check in

Stay still: Mixed doubles player Chan Peng Soon getting a swab test done after reporting for training at the Academy Badminton Malaysia.

PETALING JAYA: The independent shuttlers have checked in for what Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) director of coaching Wong Choong Hann calls a win-win training session at the Akademy Badminton Malaysia (ABM).

The eight shuttlers – Liew Daren, Soong Joo Ven, Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying – will train under the same roof with BAM’s national players as they prepare for the Thomas and Uber Cups.

All eight players underwent swab tests yesterday and will have to self-isolate for two days before being given clearance to join the rest of the squad.

Mixed doubles pair Peng Soon-Liu Ying, silver medallists at the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro four years ago, are the only two who will not be vying for spots in the Thomas Cup in Denmark at the end of this year.

The pair were were given a special invitation because they are in good position to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics next year.

“I believe we are selecting from among the best candidates in the country for our potential final Thomas Cup squad.

“We want to start our preparations early and give the coaches more time to evaluate the progress of the players so we can make the best decisions for the team.

“These players will join our training sessions to allow us to evaluate their current condition. Of course, we will change accordingly to bring the best out of them.

“Peng Soon-Liu Ying will train with us twice a week as of now while the others are for the Thomas Cup preparation.

“We have good facilities here in ABM, a good support system in terms of coaching and support services.

“We believe that with this platform, we’ll be able to push everyone’s limits and add value to the whole setup.

“We can create a good synergy between the young players – full of energy, who want to prove themselves and gain experience – and their more experienced teammates.

“Everyone will get what they want. The biggest winner will be team Malaysia,” said Choong Hann.

Former top national doubles player V Shem said they were hoping for a second bite at the cherry.

“As independent players, we are not just fighting for ourselves but our sponsors who also hope to see us representing the country at the Thomas Cup.

“Another good thing about training at ABM is the world-class facilities. We will have top-quality sparring and it’s a golden opportunity for us to prove that we can still contribute to the country.”

World No. 14 V Shem-Wee Kiong and world No. 15 Yew Sin-Ee Yi are currently the second and third best-ranked combinations in the country behind world No. 9 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

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