Kuala Lumpur – The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has no plans to send the national senior squad to compete in the 2021 SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam at the end of this year.
BAM secretary-general Datuk Kenny Goh said the senior squad, who include newly crowned All England men’s singles champion Lee Zii Jia and top men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, have been excluded from the biennial Games to allow them to focus on four major championships this year.
The four major tournaments are the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Thomas and Uber Cups in Denmark, the world championship in Spain and the Sudirman Cup in China.
“We have forwarded a proposal to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to send a squad comprising young junior players to compete in Hanoi.
“I believe this move will motivate the players to represent the country at the 2021 SEA Games because it is a big championship as most of the badminton greats hail from Southeast Asia,” he said at a media conference after attending the 2021 SEA Games selection committee meeting at Wisma OCM here today.
The national badminton squad contributed three gold medals in the 2019 Manila SEA Games through Zii Jia, Aaron-Wooi Yik and S. Kisona in women’s singles.
Kenny hoped that the selected players can return to action as soon as possible to ensure that they can mount a real challenge at the games.
He said the BAM was conducting an analysis of other countries’ squads that will be competing in Hanoi.
“What is important is that players must be focused and train wholeheartedly to compete in the 2021 SEA Games,” he said. – Bernama