Penang will be banking on a bunch of youngsters to land the elusive men’s team event gold medal in the 17th edition of the Malaysia Games (Sukma) which will be held in Perlis from May 24-June 4.
The youngsters did fairly well in the recent World Junior Championships held in Alor Star last month. Although Malaysia failed to get onto the podium in Alor Star it spelt success in other ways.
Leading Penang’s charge will be Cheam June Wei, who reached the quarter-finals in Alor Star – which was good enough for him to earn a ticket to this year’s Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China in August.
Others from the national junior team that competed in Alor Star and will don Penang colours in the Games in Perlis are Nelson Heg Wei Keat and Goh Giap Chin – giving the team confidence of landing the elusive men’s team title.
Penang are drawn in Group B in the men’s team event with Johor and Perak but look good enough to advance.
“We have targeted the semi-finals in Perlis but have not given up on landing the elusive gold if the current crop of up and coming national players can play to form,” says Penang BA coaching and development director Tony Tan.
Penang women, however, have been severely handicapped by the absence of Malaysia’s top woman singles shuttler Tee Jing Yee, winner of the women’s singles gold medal in the 2010 Sukma in Malacca.
The talented Jing Yee has a more important mission in New Delhi for the Uber Cup Finals.
Still, Penang have a Junior World Cupper Goh Jin Wei who could possibly land a medal in Perlis after the disappointment at the last Games in Pahang in 2012 where Penang finished empty handed.
The Penang women are drawn in Group W and have Federal Territories and Terengganu for company.