KUALA LUMPUR: Lee Zii Jia vs Liew Daren; Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik vs Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong; or Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying vs Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie? They all sound like world class clashes.And yes, they are about to happen.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will be holding an internal tournament involving all national team members and selected professional shuttlers in mid-August.
There is even better news.
The BAM are considering broadcasting all these matches live in partnership with Astro – emulating their counterparts All-Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) who staged the “Mola TV-PBSI Home Tournament”.
The Indonesian tournament, which features all five individual events in an Open tournament format, has been running in stages since June 2020, with the women’s singles competition due to be completed this week.
It has been a huge hit as it involves all the national team players, including their top stars like men’s singles aces Anthony Ginting and Jonatan Christie, and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo-Marcus Fernaldi Gideon, the world No. 1 in men’s doubles.
While details are still being finalised, BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann has hinted that the tournament would likely be played in a similar format.
Choong Hann believes some exciting battles are also on the cards as all players are desperate to impress, knowing that the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals berths are at stake.
Broadcasting these matches live, he said, would also add value to the tournament.
“It will be half-a-year since our shuttlers played their last tournament in March, so this tournament will bring back their competitiveness, ” said Choong Hann.
“This will be a platform where everybody will be eager to showcase their best as they would want to gauge how far they have come since resuming their training in the past month.
“More importantly, it’s going to be part of our evaluation for the Thomas and Uber Cup squad selection. That itself is already a good push for them to take this tournament very seriously.
Choong Hann said the internal meet will not be open to all independent players. Instead, the BAM will only allow the eight shuttlers who are currently training with the national team to take part.
The eight are V Shem, Wee Kiong, Peng Soon, Liu Ying, Ong Yew Sin, Teo Ee Yi, Liew Daren and Soong Joo Ven.
“As this is an internal tournament, we are limiting the participation to only those independent players who are training with us at the moment, ” explained Choong Hann.
“If we allow everyone to join, we might as well have an Open tournament.”