PETALING JAYA: Top juniors Justin Hoh and Siti Nurshuhaini Azman are set to get their biggest career break.
The duo, who are junior players under the charge of Datuk Misbun Sidek, are likely to be named in the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals squads respectively, which will be staged in Aarhus, Denmark, from Oct 9-17.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will name their final squad – 12 men and 12 women – after the coaching and training committee meeting today.
While Lee Zii Jia and Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and several seniors have confirmed their places, a few slots are still open for young talents.
BAM’s coaching director Wong Choong Hann is taking a bold step to name a young team for the Finals although there are more experienced independent players available outside the national team set-up.
Justin and Nurshuhaini had taken part in the internal ranking tournament against the seniors at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) which ended yesterday. The result is being used to name the squads.
Justin and Nurshuhaini earned their rights to compete with the seniors after finishing second and first in their respective junior ranking tournament two weeks ago.
Against the seniors, the 17-year-old Justin finished sixth behind Ng Tze Yong, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin, Leong Jun Hao, Cheam June Wei and Lim Chong King.
Only four of them are set to join Zii Jia in the singles team.
Nurshuhaini, 16, outdid herself by finishing better than her senior Myisha Khairul to finish second behind national shuttler K. Letshanaa while Tan Zhing Yi took the last and fourth spot.
While pleased with the matches, Choong Hann said other factors would also be considered before naming the squad.
“We conducted this tournament to determine the squad but we will also look at the players’ individual abilities. In men’s doubles for instance, they may have done well as a pair, but we may only consider one,” said Choong Hann.
He admitted that there were opportunities for youngsters to be considered for the Finals as the Badminton World Federation have increased the number of participants from the usual 10 to 12 players after taking into consideration of the Covid-19 situation.
“It’s only for this Thomas-Uber Cup Finals. We have not decided whether we will send the full squad for the women’s team. It will be discussed in depth tomorrow (today),” he said.
“As for the men, we have decided that it will be 12 – five singles and seven doubles players.
Those hoping to join Aaron-Wooi Yik in the doubles are seniors Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, Ng Eng Cheong-Low Hang Yee and two juniors Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun and Chang Yee Jun-Chia Wei Jie.
Yee Jun-Wei Jie did well to top the ranking tournament yesterday. Men’s singles: 1. Ng Tze Yong, 2. Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin, 3. Leong Jun Hao, 4. Cheam June Wei, 5. Lim Chong King, 6. Justin Hoh
Women’s singles: 1. K. Lethsanaa, 2. Siti Nurshuhaini Azman, 3. Myisha Khairul, 4. Tan Zhing Yi
Men’s doubles: 1. Chang Yee Jun-Chia Wei Jie, 2. Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, 3. Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun, 4. Jimmy Wong-Low Hang Yee.
n THOMAS CUPGroup A: Indonesia, Taiwan, Algeria, Thailand.
Group B: Denmark, South Korea, France, Germany.
Group C: China, India, Netherlands, Tahiti.
Group D: Japan, Malaysia, Canada, England.
n UBER CUPGroup A: Japan, Indonesia, Germany, France.
Group B: Thailand, India, Spain, Scotland.
Group C: South Korea, Taiwan, Tahiti, Egypt.
Group D: China, Denmark, Malaysia, Canada.