There is a place for men’s doubles Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi in the Malaysian team for this year’s Badminton Asia Team Championships to be held at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila from Feb 11-16.
The eighth-ranked pair was axed from the national squad earlier this month and now ply their trade as independent players. Their inclusion in the team will give the team depth in Manila.
On Friday, Yew Sin-Ee Yi powered into the semi-finals in the Thailand Masters in Bangkok when they defeated Japanese seventh seeds Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi 21-15, 21-17.
They will meet Lee Jhe Huei-Yang Po Hsuan of Chinese Taipei for a place in the finals.
The Asian Team Championships will also serve as the qualifier for the Thomas Cup (men) and Uber Cup (women) and Malaysia wants to qualify on merit.
Malaysia’s top-ranked men’s singles Lee Zii Jia, currently ranked No 13, won the Sea Games gold at the same venue. Malaysia also won the women’s singles gold through S. Kisona who is also in the women’s team.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) coaching director Wong Choong Hann said: “One of our objectives for this tournament is to qualify for the Thomas Cup and the Uber Cup on Merit.
“We hope the youthful squad will be able to gain much experience and exposure playing formidable opponents in the Asian championships. It is also time for them to show their capabilities.” RIZAL ABDULLAH
The Malaysian teams:
Lee Zii Jia, Cheam June Wei, Leong Jun Hao, Ng Tsz Yong, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ei Yi.
Goh Jin Wei, Soniia Cheah, Eoon Qi Xuan, S.Kisona, Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen, Pearly Tan Koong Le-M. Thinaah.