Shuttling back home

Malaysia’s top badminton shuttlers are all likely to be back “at home” after Hari Raya. And, obviously, they are all smiles about it. Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have announced that they will invite the independent shuttlers who are “most likely to qualify” for next year’s Tokyo Olympics to join the national team in training twice a week, starting from July 15. They can even train at the Academy Badminton Malaysia on a full-time basis once they secure their qualification. The mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon and Goh…

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Haikal targets lost glory

It has been nine years since Malaysia’s status as the top nation in the boys’ doubles event of the World Junior Championships (WJC) came to an end. Mohd Haikal Nazri has now vowed to reclaim the lost glory for Malaysia with his partner Wan Arif Wan Junaidi at the tournament – if it gets the go-ahead in Auckland, New Zealand from Sept 28-Oct 11. Haikal-Arif, who are ranked first in the world junior rankings, and world No. 10 Mohd Fazriq Razif-Justin Hoh, are the nation’s best bet to end a…

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Aaron can’t wait for ABM doors to swing open

As much as he is itching to get back on court, men’s doubles shuttler Aaron Chia understands that it may take some time before he and the others can resume training at the Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara. It is learnt that the ABM will only open its doors in June amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Aaron, who is back with his family in Melaka, admitted that he is getting bored. “We can’t do anything but wait patiently. I know that BAM are doing the best for us, but…

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MCO: BAM look at the bright side

The Movement Control Order (MCO), which was enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, may not be the worst thing to happen to the Malaysian junior shuttlers. In fact, it could be seen as a blessing in disguise for the 77 players, aged 13-17, under BAM. BAM Development Committee chairman, Datuk Ng Chin Chai said the good thing is, for once, the players are more focused on beefing up their physical strength as compared to only skill work and court training previously, As the players train in their respective homes, BAM…

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Ee Yi-Yew Sin willing to take up Cup challenge if selected

Independent shuttlers Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin are ready, willing and able if their services are needed for the Thomas Cup Finals from Oct 3-11 in Aarhus, Denmark. The world No. 15 pair have surprisingly done well after leaving the national set-up in January. They won the Thailand Masters and have remained in the top 15 position for four months. They are currently the third ranked pair in the country after world No. 8 Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (14th). They are ahead of youngsters…

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Badminton restart ‘difficult to predict’, says BWF chief

Badminton will be back in action “as soon as possible” after the coronavirus crisis, the sport’s chief told AFP, adding that international travel restrictions were complicating the picture. Badminton, like tennis, golf and other sports with an international circuit, faces major hurdles after countries introduced an array of travel bans and quarantine periods to combat Covid-19. Thomas Lund, secretary general of the Badminton World Federation, said an announcement on a rejigged 2020 calendar was expected soon. But he cautioned that the situation remained fluid. “We are gearing up to be…

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It’s two good to be true

Top national shuttlers Lee Zii Jia and Aaron Chia are relishing a rare opportunity to compete in both the Olympic Games and World Championships next year and have vowed to make the most of it. The Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) announcement on Friday that the World Championships will be held in the same year as the Olympics was greeted with excitement and enthusiasm by both Zii Jia and Aaron. The World Championships, which traditionally takes place in August, has been set from Nov 29-Dec 5 next year in Huelva, Spain,…

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Super Dan returns

Think you have seen the last of Lin Dan? Don’t bet on it. The 36-year-old two-time Olympic gold medallist from China has vowed to keep on fighting for a record fifth Olympic Games appearance, despite the overwhelming odds. The five-time world champion wants to set a good example for his three-year-old son Xiaoyu. Talk of Lin Dan hanging up his racquet after 20 glorious years has been around since late last year when he began struggling to impress. He failed to make it past the second round in 15 out…

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Dr Ramlan injects good health into Malaysian sports

It’s common knowledge in Malaysian sports that one has to play “sports politics” to survive the system. But not in the case of Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz. He rose from rank and file to become an eminent member of the sports medicine community apart from being a recognised sports administrator. However, Dr Ramlan also faced betrayals and disappointments in his 32 years of service. A former head of the National Sports Council (NSC) and the National Sports Institute (NSI), he retired as senior consultant sports physician at 60 on…

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Thomas Cup Finals postponed yet again

KUALA LUMPUR: Once again the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed today that the world men’s and women’s team events will no longer be held on Aug 15-23 in Aarhus, Denmark but on Oct 3-11 instead. This comes after the Danish government decided to extend the ban on large gatherings on April 6 to the end of August. BWF said the postponement was the best solution, after consulting with Badminton Denmark and tournament organisers, Sport Event Denmark.…

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