Monday, April 28, 2008
Shuttlers told to deliver
"Thomas Cup is equally important," so says Sports Minister, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob, although the country is desperate to scoop a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in August.
I think the Bera MP is spot on.
Cast aside the match-fixing allegations in badminton.
As professionals, the shuttlers will have to bear the pressure of playing in a team event like the Thomas Cup in Jakarta in May, before channelling their entire energy on the Olympics three months later. The Olympics, mind you, is very much an individual game.
I've covered four Thomas Cup editions, including two overseas, the first for Berita Harian in Jakarta 1994 and four years later for the Malay Mail in Hong Kong. I was there in Athens when our hopes of mounting the podium lay in the ruins of the Parthenon. The two Thomas Cup editions, as well as the Athens Games, were memorable to me for different reasons. I shall dwell into this later.
Interestingly, the BA of Malaysia picked Arif Abdul Latif for the fourth singles ahead of two other Project 2010-2012 players, Tan Chun Seang and Chong Wei Feng, and four seasoned campaigners – Yeoh Kay Bin, Mohd Roslin Hashim of Nusa Mahsuri and the KLRC Bhd duo, Lee Tsuen Seng and Sairul Amar Ayob.
The top three are Lee Chong Wei, Hafiz Hashim and Wong Choong Hann.
Singles: Lee Chong Wei, Wong Choong Hann, Mohd Hafiz Hashim, Mohd Arif Abdul Latif.
Doubles: Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong, Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif.
Singles: Wong Mew Choo, Julia Wong, Lydia Cheah, Tee Jing Yee.
Doubles: Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty, Lim Pek Siah-Ng Hui Lin, Goh Liu Ying-Woon Khe Wei.