KUALA LUMPUR: Badminton fans will get to see all the top national players in action, including the current smashing pair of Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, in the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) in Johor Baru next month.
National number one Lee Chong Wei leads the singles cast of nine Malaysians in the tournament, which is the last event to offer ranking points for qualification for the World Championships in Kuala Lumpur in August.
Chong Wei won the title last year, beating Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana in the final. He will be seeking to do well in a bid to at least maintain his current fourth spot in the world ranking.
Chong Wei had wanted to skip the ABC but a first-round elimination by Singapore's Ronald Susilo in the recent Swiss Open requires him to change his mind.
The others in the singles fray are Wong Choong Hann, Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Roslin Hashim, Yeoh Kay Bin and Tan Chun Seang. The Kuala Lumpur Racquet Club will have three entries Lee Tsuen Seng, Sairul Amar Ayob and Ismail Saman.
All-England champions Kien Keat-Boon Heong will be bidding for another good run to improve on their current 10th spot in the world rankings along with the defending champions Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have entered all seven national men's pairs for the tournament.
The others are Ong Soon Hock-Tan Bin Shen, Chan Chong Ming-Chew Choon Eng, Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Lin Woon Fui, Gan Teik Chai-Mohd Zakry Latif and Chew Choong Eng-Hong Chieng Hun. Fairuzizuan and Teik Chai will play with their former partners just for the ABC.
Each country can field up to three pairs for the tournament but BAM's general manager Kenny Goh said they hope that all seven pairs would be allowed to compete.
We hope that as the hosts the Asian Badminton Confederation will grant our request, he said.
A total of 22 countries have confirmed their participation in the ABC.
Men's singles: Lee Chong Wei, Wong Choong Hann, Yeoh Kay Bin, Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Roslin Hashim, Tan Chun Seang, Lee Tsuen Seng, Sairul Amar Ayob, Ismail Saman.
Men's doubles: Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Lee Wan Wah-Choong Tan Fook, Chan Chong Ming-Hoon Thien How, Tan Bin Shen-Ong Soon Hock, Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Lin Woon Fui, Gan Teik Chai-Mohd Zakry Latif, Chew Choon Eng-Hong Chieng Hun.
Women's singles: Wong Mew Choo, M. Sutheaswari, Julia Wong, Anita Raj Kaur, Lydia Cheahm Vivian Khoo.
Women's doubles: Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty, Ooi Sock Ai-Fong Chew Yen, Haw Chiou Hwee-Lim Yin Loo, Lim Pek Siah-Joanne Quay, Chor Hooi Yee-Wong Wai See.
Mixed doubles: Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Wong Pei Tty, Hoon Thien How-Ooi Sock Ai, Tan Wee Kiong-Woon Khe Wei, Gan Teik Chai-Haw Chiou Hwee, Mohd Zakry Latif-Goh Liu Ying, Lim Khim Wah-Ng Hui Lin.