Norza calls on local shuttlers to shine in M’sian Open

PETALING JAYA: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria has called on the home players to shine at the Malaysian Open from Jan 10-15 at the Axiata Arena.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) had upgraded the status of the Malaysian Open from Super 750 to 1000 and Norza wants the likes of reigning world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (men’s doubles) and French Open winners Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (women’s doubles) to bring cheers to the home fans.

“The Malaysian Open has now been upgraded to Super 1000 status and is considered one of the Grand Slams in badminton along with the All-England, China and Indonesian Opens.

“We don’t just want to play the part as hosts for the tournament but also want our players to do well in it,” said Norza.

Norza is definitely looking for a better showing in 2023 than in this year’s edition where none of the homesters managed to reach the final.

The best performers were Aaron-Wooi Yik and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, who made it to the last-four before seeing their runs ended by Japan’s Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi and Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardianto respectively.

No Malaysian shuttler has lifted the title since former No. 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei emerged victorious in 2018.

In men’s doubles, Goh V Shem-Lim Khim Wah was the last home pair to capture the title in 2014.

The tournament was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This time, Malaysia will be banking on Aaron-Wooi Yik, Pearly-Thinaah and independent men’s singles player Lee Zii Jia to win the title.

Another men’s singles player who will be looking to impress is the much-improved Ng Tze Yong, who is set to qualify for the tournament after reaching a career-high No. 29 in the world rankings recently.

Only those ranked in the world’s top 32 will make the cut for the competition.

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