THE Malaysian contingent of veteran shuttlers won six medals including one gold medal in the biennial BWF World Senior Championships in Kochi, India.
The sole gold medal was delivered by Ting Wei Ping who partnered Indonesia’s 1982 Thomas Cup player Bobby Ertanto in the Men’s Doubles 50+ age category.
Men’s Doubles 70+ category defending champion Ching Kon Kong and Loo Ah Hooi, who won the previous tournament in Sweden two years ago, managed a bronze medal each in the same category this year.
They narrowly lost to eventual champions Akira Hirota and Shinjiro Matsuda of Japan in the semi-finals 24-26, 21-17, 15-21.
The Malaysian pair had defeated the Japanese duo in the previous tournament in Sweden.
The silver medal came from Malaysian pair Kah Kok Cheong and Lum Chee Meng in the Men’s Doubles 40+ after they lost to their Thai opponents in straight sets.
Malaysia was represented by a total of 18 players in six age group categories.
Thirteen of the players came under BU Dragons of Bandar Utama Badminton Club.
The gold medal once again eluded seasoned campaigner Chan Wan Seong, who was also the BU Dragons’ team manager, who had to settle for bronze after losing to top-seed and eventual champion Dan Travers of Scotland.
“Having been assured of at least a bronze medal, I played without pressure but still lost 11-21, 24-22, 10-21.
“I fought hard in the second set leading Dan 18-13 but he scored five straight points to force a deuce.
“That was when I injured my hamstring but I managed to prevail in a nail-biting set to win 24-22,” he said, adding that he went on to lose in the final set due to the injury.
“Overall, winning seven medals is a big accomplishment for Malaysians.
“The competition was very tough with younger players and dark horses migrating to the older age-categories,” he said.
In the Men’s Singles 60+ category, Chan and Ong Then Lin both won the bronze medals while in the Men’s Singles 70+ debutant Foo Lai Loon won another bronze medal.
Other participants under the BU Dragons included Datuk Irwan Shah Abdullah better known as DJ Dave, Chang Kim Long, Loh Soon Cheong, Gan Soon Hong, Datuk Venugopal Menon and Leong Kim Swee.
DJ Dave said he was in talks with Badminton Association of Malaysia to establish an association for veteran shuttlers.
“Throughout the years, we have won many medals and we are hoping to take veteran badminton to a higher level.
“This can promote the country through sports.
“Badminton is not only a healthy activity, but also a sport for people from all walks of life.
“Although I failed to win a medal here, I think that participating in this tournament is important,” he said.