It’ll still be a highlight for Haikal without Hon Jian at his side


PETALING JAYA: Doubles shuttler Mohd Haikal Nazri has a mixed response although his dream to make his first Thomas Cup Finals appearance has finally come true.

The 21-year-old will be heading to the Finals from April 27-May 5 in Chengdu, China, without his partner Choong Hon Jian.

Paired together since last August, Haikal and Hon Jian have been blazing through tournaments and have broken into the top 30 rankings.

Only Haikal has been selected by the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) to team up with former world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani.

The singles players in the team are Lee Zii Jia, Ng Tze Yong, Leong Jun Hao, Cheam June Wei and Justin Hoh.

Haikal, who hails from Kelantan, expressed his excitement over the chance to make his debut at the prestigious event.

“I’m feeling very excited because this will be my first time playing in the Thomas Cup,” he said.

“I’ve said it before, that I am always ready for anything.

“If the coaches think it is time for me to go then there is a reason for that, and I want to use this opportunity to show what I can do.

“It is a pity for Hon Jian as he will miss this, but his opportunity will come, I’m sure of it.

“This is a matter of national duty and a team event, so we have to put aside our personal intentions and work together for the country,” he said.

Haikal, who won the Orleans Masters last month with Hon Jian, had played with Izzuddin before. And that could be one of the main reasons for national coaching director Rexy Mainaky and coaches to choose him.

Haikal had been partnered with Izzuddin in the past – a time when Izzuddin and Sze Fei were separated briefly.

“It ultimately is the coach’s decision as they know which player is best to fit into the team,” he said.

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Badminton , Mohd Haikal Nazri , Thomas Cup

   

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