Be fair to independent players

Independent shuttler Soong Joo Ven is expected to climb to No 55 in the men’s singles world rankings today, but he is not at all excited

Independent shuttler Soong Joo Ven is expected to climb to No 55 in the men’s singles world rankings today, but he is not at all excited.

The world No 68 is disappointed as despite his decent results, he has been overlooked yet again for a second time this year.

Joo Ven was first overlooked by the BA of Malaysia (BAM) for the Badminton Asia Championships (in Manila on April 26-May 1), and last week, the 26-year-old was not shortlisted for the Thomas Cup (in Bangkok on May 8-15) training camp in Bukit Kiara.

The 2019 national champion, however, does believe in free rides, and all he wanted was an open trial to prove his worth.The 2019 national champion, however, does believe in free rides, and all he wanted was an open trial to prove his worth.

BAM have called up only two independent players in world No 7 Lee Zii Jia and 35th-ranked Liew Daren for their training camp.

The other quality independent shuttler left out was Cheam June Wei (No 67).

Instead, BAM opted to shortlist Ng Tze Yong (No 44), Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin (No 112), Leong Jun Hao (No 121), Ong Ken Yon (No 281) and Shaqeem Eiman Shahyar (No 413) for the camp.

“Besides the BAC exclusion, I’m also upset that there were no trials to choose the best players for the Thomas Cup,” said Joo Ven, who achieved a semi-final outing in last week’s Korea Masters in Gwangju.

“We had a selection trial for the last Thomas Cup, and it would have been fair if they had it again for this edition.

“Although BAM have the right to select players, the national body should also be fair to independent players like me and June Wei as we are ranked higher than some of the national players.

“I read that India will conduct a trial for the Thomas Cup.

“Although K. Srikanth and Lakhsya Sen are automatic choices, the rest will fight for the remaining spots.

“Why can’t we do the same?”

Joo Ven, who was dropped from the national team in 2020, explained that representing Malaysia in major events is still a big honour for him and that is what keeps him motivated.

He also pointed out that his absence from major events would deprive him of substantial ranking points.

“Take the BAC, for instance. I am unable to fight for the points from the Super 1000 event. It could have helped me break into the world’s top 30 in the long run.

“As a professional, I depend on sponsors to play in BWF events. BAM’s unreasonable selection decisions have affected my livelihood.

“Why? That’s because my present and potential sponsors in the future would expect me to move up in the world rankings and represent the country in major events.

“However, to set the record straight, I have nothing against those selected.

“I am 100 per cent behind the national team for the Thomas Cup. Most of the players are my friends and former teammates, and I hope they do well.

“In sports, it is all about fairness, fun and challenge. But when you take the fairness out of sports, it is no longer fun and challenging.”

Related posts