Thomas cup

Four Thomas Cup slots up for grabs

THE BA of Malaysia (BAM) may make last-minute changes to their Hanoi Sea Games squad if it means sending the best possible lineup to Bangkok for next month’s Thomas Cup.

As each country is allowed to register 12 players for the Thomas Cup, the national body may consider adding more options to their squad by naming players initially registered for the Sea Games.

Earlier, BAM selected Lim Chong King, Jacky Kok, Justin Hoh and Lee Shun Yang as the four men’s singles players for the Vietnam assignment, with only world No 7 Lee Zii Jia and Ng Tze Yong looking certain to make the Thomas Cup squad.

BAM coaching director Rexy Mainaky has confirmed that Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani will play in the Thomas Cup, which means there are still four more places up for grabs.

National men’s singles coach Hendrawan said BAM have not ruled out the possibility of naming more professional players like Liew Daren or Cheam June Wei for the Thomas Cup.

“Until today, we are still waiting to finalise our lineup. Wong Choong Hann (singles coaching director) and Rexy will do so soon.

“Whatever the decision, be assured that we will be sending our best team for the Thomas Cup.

“If we look at our previous Thomas Cup squad and the team that won the Asia Team Championships in February, we had three strong singles players and some youngsters as well.

“I can’t say, for sure, if there might be some last-minute changes to the Sea Games squad, but I believe we still can,” said Hendrawan.

The Indonesian pointed out that it is important to have more options in the squad, as Malaysia aim to top their group in Bangkok.

For the Thomas Cup, Malaysia are in Group D with 2014 champions Japan, England and New Zealand.

“Based on our previous experience, we all know how important it is to top the group.

“If we can top the group, then we will be seeded going into the quarter-finals.

“So it is always good to have more options in our squad. It doesn’t matter if these players are our own or professionals. If they make the team, then they should use it to prove themselves.

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