Hopefuls will be a handful

Time to move up again: Leong Jun Hao is one of the more experienced players but he is in the second division because his ranking had dropped.

PETALING JAYA: The stage is set for Thomas-Uber Cup hopefuls to stake their claim in the BAM Invitational Championships starting on Wednesday.

Instead of following the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals team format, national coaching director Wong Choong Hann said they would hold individual competitions during their internal tournament at Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara.

Only the men’s singles will have two divisions and only the second division players will start on Wednesday. The competitions for the rest of the players will be held the following week from Aug 11-16.

Choong Hann is excited to test their players ahead of the Finals, scheduled in Aarhus, Denmark, from Oct 3-11.

“This is a great platform to see where our players stand after the long break without competitions. This is also one of the stages for players wanting to impress and win tickets for the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals, ” said Choong Hann.

“We are looking at many factors in naming our best team for the Finals but this internal tournament is surely a place for the younger ones to prove themselves.

“We are unable to follow the team format as we are aware of the government directive against team competitions. We don’t intend to take the risk, ” he said.

Of all the events, Choong Hann is excited with the men’s singles.

He has grouped Lee Zii Jia, Cheam June Wei, Ng Tze Yong, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin, Liew Daren, Soong Joo Ven in division one while others in the second division are Leong Jun Hao, Wyman Goh, Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar, Ter Chun Long and Low Eu Cong.

“Jun Hao is more experienced but he is in the second division because his ranking had dropped. The players, both seniors and juniors are all on fire, I’ve seen their enthusiasm in training and I expect fierce competition, ” said Choong Hann.

The former international also added that the morale is high among the singles players as everyone had been getting the same attention.

“In the past, we used to depend on Lee Chong Wei alone but we don’t want to end up with the same situation.

“All in the current set-up get equal attention from the coaches and I guess that motivates them, ” he said.

“They know they have equal opportunities if they work hard and produce the results.”

On the concept of the tournament, Choong Hann said it would be “real.”

“There will be umpires, electronic score boards and prize money... it will just like another tournament. All I’m looking for is quality performances from our players. We’ve included independent players too. It’ll be exciting.

“The only thing that will be missing are the fans but we are making efforts to show some of these matches live, ” he added.

It will be streamed live on the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s official youtube channel @BA_Malaysia.


Men’s singles

Division One: Lee Zii Jia, Cheam June Wei, Ng Tze Yong, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin, Liew Daren, Soong Joo Ven

Division Two: Leong Jun Hao, Wyman Goh, Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar, Ter Chun Long, Low Eu Cong, Lee Shun Yang (injured, excluded)

Men’s doubles:

Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong, Chang Yee Jun-Chia Wei Jie, Choong Hon Jian-Loo Bing Kun, Yap Roy King-Ooi Jhy Dar, Ching Kai Feng, Lwi Sheng Hao, Muhd Nurfirdaus Azman-Chen Tang Jie, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin.

Women’s singles:

Soniia Cheah, Goh Jin Wei, Lee Ying Ying, S. Kisona, Eoon Qi Xuan, K. Letshanaa

Women’s doubles:

Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen, Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah, Yap Ling-Teoh Mei Xing, Toh Ee Wei-Anna Cheong

Mixed doubles:

Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie, Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, Hoo Pang Ron-Cheah Yee See, Chen Tang Jie-Peck Yen Wei, Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying.

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