PETALING JAYA: There's no place for World Championships bronze medallists Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi in the 12-member squad for the Badminton Asia Team Championships while rising star Jacky Kok has received a shot in the arm with a first major call-up.
Naming both the men's and women's teams who would carry the nation's challenge at the Setia City Convention Centre from Feb 15-20, BAM picked world No. 45 Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun over independent duo Yew Sin-Ee Yi as the third choice pairing.
Wei Chong-Kai Wun were rewarded with their maiden World Tour success at the Syed Modi International in Lucknow, India last week.
The two main pairs are Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani.
The 19-year-old Jacky, meanwhile, appeared to have won the hearts of selectors with his impressive displays in Europe over the last two weeks.
He won the Swedish Open and came in runner-up at the Estonian International. He's currently competing in the Ukraine Open this week.
World No. 7 Lee Zii Jia, who recently turned professional, made the line-up as expected after being handed his independence by BAM and would be leading the singles charge that also comprises Ng Tze Yong, Leong Jun Hao, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin and Lim Chong King.
Goh Jin Wei, who had also been given the nod to turn professional, failed to make the women's team as BAM filled up its singles squad with Eoon Qi Xuan, S. Kisona, Tan Zhing Yi, Siti Nurshuhaini Azman and Myisha Khairul.
There was no surprise in the women's doubles line-up as BAM named Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah, Teoh Mei Xing-Anna Cheong, Valeree Siow-Low Yeen Yuan as their established three pairs whilst including Go Pei Kee as an alternative option.
The biennial team tournament would serve as a qualifier for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Bangkok in May.
Malaysia would be aiming to qualify for the prestigious Finals by virtue of being among the top four finishers, just like they did in the previous edition in Manila two years ago.
Then, the men's team finished runners-up to Indonesia while the women's squad came in as semi-finalists.