Internal ‘warfare’ – ranking tourney to finalise Thomas Cup squad


Surprise package?: Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin is in the fray to be one of the singles players.

PETALING JAYA: The fight is on internally to win places in the squad for the Thomas Cup Finals.

A ranking tournament will be held in the first week of September to finalise the squad for the Finals. 2016 Thomas Cup winners Denmark will host the competition from Oct 9-17 in Odense.

National coaching director Wong Choong Hann wants an equal opportunity to be given to all hopefuls although national No. 1s Lee Zii Jia (singles) and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (doubles) have guaranteed their places for the team event.

Zii Jia has sealed the deal after winning the All-England in March while Aaron-Wooi Yik justified their inclusion by winning badminton’s sole medal – a bronze – at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Choong Hann said the internal ranking tournament would be held to determine the other vacant spots.

“Several factors will be used to decide on the team but the performance of the players during the internal tournament will carry weight too,” said Choong Hann.

Those in the running in the men’s singles are world No. 67 Cheam June Wei, Ng Tze Yong (91), Leong Jun Hao (No. 120), Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin (No. 122) and Lim Chong King (150).

In the men’s doubles, the fight for the second doubles should be among these pairs – Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, Low Hang Yee-Ng Eng Cheong, Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun and Chang Yee Jun-Chia Wei Jie.

“We have to submit our entry in the middle of September.

“We hope this ranking tournament will provide an opportunity for every player with potential to earn their spots,” said Choong Hann.

Malaysia will also have a team in the Uber Cup Finals but the selection of the women players is straightforward.

While focused on the immediate events, Choong Hann is also planning for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“We will review the performances of all the players and coaches post Tokyo Olympics. We will have to start now if we want more players to qualify for the Paris Olympics,” he added.



THE GROUPINGS

THOMAS CUP

Group A: Indonesia, Taiwan, Algeria, Thailand.

Group B: Denmark, South Korea, France,

Germany.

Group C: China, India, Netherlands, Tahiti.

Group D: Japan, Malaysia, Canada, England.

UBER CUP

Group A: Japan, Indonesia, Germany, France.

Group B: Thailand, India, Spain, Scotland.

Group C: South Korea, Taiwan, Tahiti, Egypt.

Group D: China, Denmark, Malaysia, Canada.

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