KUALA LUMPUR: Former badminton great Datuk Razif Sidek believes the shuttlers can surpass the one-gold target at the Commonwealth Games which starts this week.
Razif said he expects a three-gold harvest when they return from Birmingham.
“Badminton never fails to contribute medals in the Games. I’m positive that we have chances to win gold in the men’s doubles (Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik), women’s doubles (Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah) and mixed doubles (Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing or Chan Peng Soon-Cheah Yee See) based on the players’ ranking and form,” said Razif at the launch of the Allianz Junior Badminton Championship (AJBC) at the Sports Arena Puchong.
The former doubles specialist won two golds in the 1982 Brisbane Games and 1990 Auckland Games with Ong Beng Teong and younger brother Datuk Jalani Sidek respectively.
Razif also contributed a bronze in 1982 in the singles.
He acknowledged that it will be harder for Ng Tze Yong and Goh Jin Wei to capture the gold in the men’s and women’s singles.
“It will be tough as India have stronger players. But our players can still fight for a medal,” added Razif.
India are set to play Thomas Cup winners Lakshya Sen (No. 10) and K. Srikanth (No. 11) and they can call upon 2019 world champion and 2016 Rio Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu in the women’s singles. Singapore’s reigning world champion Loh Kean Yew will also be vying for gold in men’s singles.
Meanwhile, the AJBC is a tournament to unearth new talent and provide opportunities for youngsters who failed to enter the sport schools or the Badminton Association of Malaysia.
The AJBC will be held in seven states (Selangor, Kedah, Terengganu, Perak, Penang, Johor and Negri Sembilan). There will be four events – boy’s singles, doubles, girl’s singles, doubles in the Under-13 and Under-15 categories.