Two chances for Hafiz to make World meet cut

KUALA LUMPUR: The prospect of missing the World Championships for the second year in a row is simply unbearable for national men’s singles shuttler Mohd Hafiz Hashim. That’s why he has vowed to go all out in the German Open (March 2-7) and the All-England (March 9-14).

Hafiz, who is currently in 25th spot, has to break into the top 24 to be assured of a place in the world meet, which will be held in Paris from Aug 23-29.

A country can have a maximum of three singles players if all of them are ranked within the top 24 when the world rankings are released on April 29.

Two others ranked ahead of Hafiz are world number one Lee Chong Wei and Wong Choong Hann (14th).

“I don’t have many tournaments left before the deadline to qualify for the world meet.

I can only bank on these two tournaments in Europe to strengthen my world rankings,” said Hafiz, who will not be taking part in the Asian Badminton Championships (ABC) in New Delhi from April 12-18.

The ABC will be the last tournament for Asian players to gain valuable ranking points ahead of the world meet qualifying deadline.

“I missed the world meet in India last year. I do not intend to miss the boat again. I cannot afford to lose in the early rounds of the German Open and All-England,” said Hafiz.

The 27-year-old Hafiz said that he had re-grouped after the first round defeat at the Malaysian Open in Bukit Jalil last month.

“I was unable to improve on my world rankings because of the poor start to the season. I was disappointed but I am back on my feet again. Hopefully, this time I will be able to give a better account of myself.”

In the German Open, Hafiz is expected to be seeded eighth.

The seven seeded ahead of him are China’s Bao Chunlai and Chen Long, Malaysia’s Wong Choong Hann, Germany’s Marc Zwiebler,

Taiwan’s Hsieh Yu-hsing and England’s Rajiv Ouseph.

It will be tougher for Hafiz at the All-England as nearly all the top 20 players in the world have confirmed their entries.

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