They have Tai Tzu Ying as world No 1 in the women’s singles and Chou Tien Chen as world No 7 in the men’s singles but Chinese Taipei are in Alor Setar, Malaysia without the duo for the E-Plus Badminton Asia Team Championships.
But it is not a bother for Chinese Taipei – confident that they will make the quarter-finals from their respective groups in both the men’s and women’s categories – a feat they also achieved at the last Badminton Asia Team Championships in Hyderabad in 2016.
On Monday the Chinese Taipei players worked out at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium in Alor Setar – the venue for the championships – under the watchful eyes of head coach Chang Jeng Shyuang and his assistants.
“There are number of reasons why we did not name Tzu Ying and Tien Chen for the Asian meet. One is because we have different programmes for them back home,” said Jeng Shyuang.
“At the same time we have players who can carry our challenge apart from wanting the up and coming badminton talent in the country to gain international experience. The Asian team championships is a good exposure for them and gain experience in playing in such a highly competitive tournament.
For the men’s category Chinese Taipei are drawn in Group C together with Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar while in the women’s category it is Group X with South Korea and Maldives.
With Tien Chen, who finished runners-up to China’s Shi Yuqi in Sunday’s India Open final, Chinese Taipei men’s singles is headed by No 12 ranked Wang Tzu Wei. Other singles players are Hsu Jen Hao (26), Lin Yu Hsien (53).
In the men’s doubles Chinese Taipei have two pairs in the top 10 with Chen Hung Ling-Wang Chi-Lin ranked No 7 and Lee Jhe-huei-Lee Yang a rank below at No 8.
At the last championships Chinese Taipei lost both their quarter-final ties. The men were beaten by Japan 3-0 while the women were also ousted by Japan 3-1.
“Of course we look beyond the quarter-finals but our main task is to win the group matches with hopes of finishing on top. The luck of the draw also plays a big part at the knockout stage,” added Jeng Shyuang.
Pai Yu Po, ranked 22, plays the first singles in the women’s category followed by Lee Chia-hsin (25) and Chiang Mei-hui (40).
The team also powered by world number 22 Hsu Ya-ching-Wu Ti-jung in the women’s doubles. Chiang Kai-hsin-Hung Shih-han are ranked 39. BADMINTON ASIA
Present world rankings in bracket
Wang Tzu Wei (12)
Hsu Ten Hao (26)
Lin Yu Hsien (53)
Chen Chun-Wei (193)
Chen Hung Ling-Wang Chi-Lin (7)
Lee Jhe-huei-Lee Yang (8)
Lu Ching Yao-Yang Poh Han (15)
Pai Yu Po (22)
Lee Chia Hsin (25)
Chiang Mei Hui (40)
Sung Shuo-yun (56)
Hsu Ya-ching-Wu Ti-jung (22)
Chiang Kai-hsin-Hung Shih Han (39)
Hung Shih-han–Hung Yi-ting (-)