PETALING JAYA, May 3 – The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has named Goh Soon Huat as the country’s men’s fourth singles player for the Thomas Cup championship in New Delhi, India from May 15- 18. BAM president Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff said the decision to name Goh over Ramdan Misbun Ramdan was made based on several factors, including the selection session held at Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara recently, apart from the performance of each player and report from the National Sports Institute (NSI). “The decision was unanimous (by BAM council) and it was based on transparency, and the player who performed the best currently should represent the country at the Thomas Cup,” he told reporters after chairing a BAM council meeting at a hotel in Subang Jaya near here Saturday.
Tengku Mahaleel was optimistic the national Thomas Cup squad would reach at least the semi-finals based on the country’s ranking at the fourth spot in the world, as well as the Uber squad as stated by national women’s singles coach Wong Tak Mei earlier. “Each country will want to win but in reality, we are not a seeded team (especially the national women squad) but we will do our best. “In this regard, we are placing more emphasis on the aspect of sports science, as part of the national badminton squad training programme,” he said. Tengku Mahaleel said both squads would be starting centralised training at the Juara Stadium, Bukit Kiara and they would be placed at one centre to ensure their focus on the world badminton team championship.
He said BAM would also be coordinating its training programme with several parties, including the youth and sports ministry, education ministry, National Sports Council and NSI under roof to ensure the Malaysian badminton squad produced more talented players in future. “We found our competitors have shown much progress in several aspects. For example, one country has 60 badminton academies owned by the government and have almost 4,000 junior players. Nonetheless, we do not have that many players,” he said. “Each year, we could only list 12 players from the Bukit Jalil Sports School for the national junior squad, and the number is insufficient,” he added.
Full list of 2014 Thomas and Uber Cup squads
Men’s Singles: Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng, Liew Daren, Goh Soon Huat.
Men’s Doubles: Hoon Thien How, Tan Wee Kiong, Tan Boon Heong, Lim Khim Wah, Goh V Shem, Chan Peng Soon.
Women’s Singles: Tee Jing Yi, Yang Li Lian, Lim Yin Fun, Lim Chiew Sien.
Women’s Doubles: Vivian Hoo Kah Mun, Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Anscelly, Soong Fie Cho, Lim Ying Loo, Lim Meng Yen.