Tuesday, May 27, 2014

BAM Reminds National Squad On Rise Of Other Countries

SEPANG, May 26 (Bernama) -- The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in expressing its satisfaction with the performance of the national badminton squad which emerged runners-up in the Thomas Cup championship in India last night, reminded the players not to be complacent in the international arena.

Its president, Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff said Malaysia's achievement in the tournament was a great recognition for the country.

"We cannot be too contented and need to be wary of the rise of other countries in the international arena of badminton.

"Our competitors are not just Japan as other countries such as India and Thailand have also shown impressive performance," he told reporters after welcoming the return of the national squad from India at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today.

Meanwhile, national coach Rashid Sidek said the service of Malaysia's world number one player Datuk Lee Chong Wei would still be needed for the coming Thomas Cup.

"Chong Wei is still needed for the Thomas Cup...We need his presence to boost the squad with at least one point," said Rashid.

Commenting on the defeat of singles player Liew Daren in the final, Rashid Sidek said it could be due to pressure.

"Maybe the pressure was too great for him to win. Nonetheless, we are satisfied as he proved he really wanted to win.

"But his opponent was formidable and we saw he tried his best," he said.

While admitting the defeat in New Delhi was a big loss to the country, Chong Wei however said the national squad gave their opponents such as Japan, South Korea and Denmark a tough fight.

"BAM had targeted us to reach the semi-finals but we qualified for the final and the chance to win the Thomas Cup was there but it did not materialise," said Chong Wei.

The singles hero of the country said he would continue to play in the 2016 Thomas Cup.

Meanwhile, Liew admitted his disappointment in not fulfilling the country's hopes to capture the Thomas Cup.

"I am not satisfied with my performance last night as I played well only in the last two sets and could not focus in the first set. Nevertheless, all players put up their best performance," he said.

He however was pleased with the presence of so many fans at KLIA to welcome the national Thomas Cup squad with cheers and encouraging words.

Malaysia failed to lift the Thomas Cup after losing 2-3 to Japan in the final at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.

The nation's hopes were dashed after third singles player, Liew failed to beat Takuma Ueda and gave Japan their first Thomas Cup title.


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