PETALING JAYA: National No. 1 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (pic) have chosen to skip the All-England due to concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 2019 All-England runners-up will take part in the Swiss Open in Basel from March 2-7, which is an Olympics qualifying event but decided to forgo the All-England in Birmingham from March 17-21.
The All-England is not an Olympics qualifier.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann said they had given the players options to choose.
“We told the players that they have the right to refuse because the Covid-19 cases are high in England and besides, the All-England is not an Olympics qualifier, ” said Choong Hann.
“As Aaron-Wooi Yik are still within the Olympics qualifying range, they decided to forgo the All-England. They will look at a few Olympics qualifiers in Asia to strengthen their ranking for the Tokyo Games.”
Besides Aaron-Wooi Yik, another doubles pair Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani have also opted to skip the All-England.
“Both pairs will travel to Basel and return home after that. The others in the team, however, will head straight to Birmingham after the Swiss Open although there is a one-week gap, ” said Choong Hann.
Choong Hann is looking for a training centre in Birmingham but can only finalise it after a lockdown in England is lifted on March 8.
“We will arrive a week earlier in Birmingham.
“We’ve discussed with a training centre but we can’t finalise anything until after the lockdown is over.
“It’s a tricky situation but we need to manage it, ” he added.
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