Hamidin believes badminton can pull off surprise in Paris, but much will depend on draw


Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin. —Starpic

PETALING JAYA: Some of the shuttlers’ performances in the recently concluded Malaysian Masters have strengthened Olympics chef de mission (CDM) Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin’s (pic) belief that those heading to Paris can give a good fight for the gold medal.

Hamidin is confident that the badminton contingent can pull off a surprise in Paris from July 26-Aug 11, but stressed that the luck of the draw will be a determining factor.

“For those players who have qualified for the Olympics, we saw that they made it quite far in the Malaysian Masters. That’s a good sign but we also have to wait and see how our luck in the draw goes because that will be crucial,” he said during a meeting with Olympic-bound athletes Aniq Kasdan (weightlifting), Khairulnizam Mohd Afendy (sailing), and Nur Aisyah Zubir (road cycling) yesterday.

Men’s singles shuttler Lee Zii Jia reached the final of the Malaysian Masters title but was halted by world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

World No. 13 women’s doubles duo Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah exited the competition in the semi-finals after losing to 26th ranked South Koreans Lee Yu-lim-Shin Seung-chan 16-21, 11-21.

Men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik bowed out in the quarter-finals to 34th ranked South Koreans Jin Yong-Na Sung-seung 21-11, 19-21, 19-21 on Friday.

“Pearly-Thinaah have taken down top seeds before, and so have Aaron-Wooi Yik. Our badminton is at the level of reaching the final stages, but we’re still not certain whether they can become champions.

“Zii Jia is slightly injured after the tournament but we don’t think it is anything serious so it’s nothing to worry about.

“We hope he’s alright for the Singapore Open and Indonesia Open coming up,” he said.

World No. 10 Zii Jia is slated to meet Indonesia’s Anthony Ginting in the opening round of the tournament starting today.

Hamidin added that even if the Olympics draw were to pit our players against the top ranked shuttlers, he remains confident as they have toppled giants in the past before.

“Our players have defeated higher ranked players before, so meeting the top players early on in Paris shouldn’t be something to fear. So I’m confident that badminton can do something at the Olympics,” he said.

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