Kuala Lumpur: As predicted by BadmintonPlanet.com in this article few days ago - "No Lee Chong Wei at the Badminton Asia Team Championship (BATC)", the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have exempt Lee Chong Wei from the Badminton Asia Team Championships squad that will compete in Hyderabad, India from Feb. 15 to Feb. 22.
Joining the BATC team gives Zulfadli Zulkiffli a good opportunity to train with the Malaysia national team.Joining the BATC team gives Zulfadli Zulkiffli a good opportunity to train with the Malaysia national team.
In an unprecedented but encouraging move, BAM have listed Zulfadli Zulkiffli who is a non-BAM player into the squad. In addition to Zulkiffli who is now ranked World No. 42, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Soong Joo Ven and Soo Teck Zhi are other new faces named for the national squad.
However, three other shuttlers that were included in the 2014 Thomas Cup squad such as Chong Wei Feng, Daren Liew, and Goh Soon Huat failed to make the cut this time.
Meanwhile in the men's doubles, BAM have also excluded World No. 15 Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong and World No. 18 Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong from the final roster. Instead, they have listed youngsters such as Tan Kian Meng, Ong Yew Sin, Low Juan Shen, Teo Ee Yi, Tan Wee Gieen and Tan Chee Tean into the list.
In the move to provide young players with exposure in a big arena, BAM deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria also stressed that the decision also allowed senior players such as Lee Chong Wei and the men's doubles pair of Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong to focus more for the Rio Olympics qualification.
"It's time for BAM to put our young players to the big tournaments. They'll have to prove themselves and show their worth by making the Thomas Cup final round in China in May."
For the Uber Cup squad, Tee Jing Yi, Ho Yen Mei, Goh Jin Wei and Lee Ying Ying will play in the women's singles event, while Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Alicia/Soong Fie Cho and Lee Meng Yean/Low Juan Shen will play in the women's doubles.