BUKIT JALIL: Does Malaysia have the talent in the men’s singles department to replace world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei?
Based on last year’s results and current form, there are eight potential shuttlers. Sadly, all of them are still under the radar in the international scene.
Six of them are Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) players – Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Goh Soon Huat, Choong Yee Han, Tan Kian Meng, Soong Joo Ven and Soo Teck Zhi – and two independent players – Misbun Ramdan Misbun and Zulfadli Zulkifli.
Except for Joo Ven, Yee Han and Kian Meng, the rest took part in the ongoing Maybank Malaysian Open but none cleared the qualifying tournament at the Putra Stadium on Tuesday.
All of them put up fighting displays but still were not good enough to pull off a breakthrough.
How much longer will it take for them to join the big league?
China are already leaps and bounds ahead of Malaysia. So are countries like Indonesia, South Korea and even Japan, Thailand and India.
Malaysia's top-ranked badminton star Lee Chong Wei is determined to bounce back on home turf this week after a weekend loss in Korea to hard-charging world number two Chen Long of China.
The Malaysian Open kicks off Wednesday with the 31-year-old hometown hero smarting from his loss to Chen on Sunday in the singles final of the Korean Open.
The top two seeds are expected to cruise through their respective halves of the draw in Malaysia and could clash again in the final in Kuala Lumpur.
Lee has dominated world badminton, holding the top ranking nearly uninterrupted since 2008 and winning seven titles last year.