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Zulfadli makes the grade for Asian Juniors team

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Category: Badminton News Published: 19 June 2009
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 951

KUALA LUMPUR: Shuttler Zulfadli Zulkifliwill have a place in the squad for the Asian Junior Championships but Misbun Ramdan Misbun’s hope to make a first appearance is still in doubt.

Zulfadli and Ramdan are the two players not in the Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) stable fighting for places in the team for the championships, which will be held at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara from July 12-19.

The Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) chief coach, Sun Chenhua, said that in a meeting among the junior coaches yesterday, it was decided that the 16-year-old Zulfadli was good for a place in the team.

He said that Zulfadli had justified his position after going through three stages of the selection process conducted by the BAM over the last four months.

Zulfadli, who is funded by KLRC Bhd, showed his ability to more than match the BJSS players during a two-week centralised training stint.

He emerged tops in round-robin matches against the BJSS players and in the final selection process, he proved to be just as fit as the others.

In the recent 100Plus National Junior Circuit Grand Finals in Seremban, Zulfadli emerged as the boys’ Under-16 champion.

“I think, there is no dispute over Zulfadli’s status in the squad. He has achieved good results and as far as the coaches are concerned, he is confirmed to play in the Asian Juniors,” said Chenhua.

“We have submitted our list to the BAM. However, we need to discuss the participation of several other players before the coaching and training committee endorse the team.”

Ramdan, who is the son of national coach Misbun Sidek, went down to eventual champion Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin in the Under-18 boys’ singles semi-finals at the national junior circuit Grand Finals.

Iskandar is Malaysia’s best bet for honours in the Asian Juniors. The other BJSS players seeking selection are Mohd Syawal Mohd Ismail, Lim Yu Sheng, Loh Wei Sheng, Jonathan Lee, Wing Kin Yik and Tew Gee Chong.

As hosts, Malaysia have the privilege to name six players instead of four for the boys’ singles competition.

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