Thursday, May 15, 2014

Team Spirit, Unity Can Have Positive Impact In Thomas Cup Competition - Rashid


KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 (Bernama) -- Team spirit and unity in the team will see the national badminton squad pull off a surprise at the Thomas & Uber Cup Final which starts in New Delhi, India on May 25.

National singles head coach Rashid Sidek said apart from team spirit and unity, mental strength and confidence are vital ingredients to perform at the highest level and mount a serious challenge.

"Lack of confidence can disrupt team spirit and unity. Players should not have any negative perception or feelings. I believe the team that will be competing in the Thomas Cup is more matured and prepared.

"We must not be nervous or tense when facing our opponents. The players must live up to the expectations of the entire nation," he told reporters at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara, here Wednesday.

The National badminton squad comprising Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Chong Wei Feng, Liew Daren, Goh Soon Huat (singles), Hoon Thien How/Tan Wee Kiong; Tan Boon Heong/Chan Peng Soon, Lim Khim Wah/Goh V Shem (doubles) will leave for New Delhi, tomorrow.

Women shuttlers Tee Jing Yi, Yang Li Lian, Lim Yin Fun, Lim Chiew Sien (singles), Vivian Hoo Kah Mun/Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Anscelly/Soong Fie Cho, Lim Yin Loo/Lee Meng Yean (doubles) will also be leaving at the same time.

In the Thomas Cup competition, Malaysia are drawn in Group C with South Korea, India and Germany while China head Group D with Taiwan, Russia and France for company.

Thomas Cup defending champion, China who will be spearheaded by World Champion and Olympic Champion Lin Dan, will certainly start as the clear favourite.

Group A will be made up of Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Nigeria while Japan head Group B together with Denmark, Hong Kong and Thailand.

In the Uber Cup competition, Malaysia are drawn in Group D with Japan, Denmark and Germany while China head Group A with Taiwan, England and Russia) while South Korea head Group B with Indonesia, Australia and Singapore for company and Group C comprise Thailand, India, Canada and Hong Kong.

Rashid who was in the team that won the Thomas Cup in 1992 said many things had changed since the memorable victory in 1992 and the current squad would be facing very stiff competition.

In the glorious Thomas Cup final in 1992, Malaysia edged Indonesia 3-2 to win the title for the fifth time since its inception in 1949.

Malaysia won the Thomas Cup in 1949, 1952, 1955, 1967 and 1992 while Indonesia has won it 13 times - 1958, 1961, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1976, 1979, 1984, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002 while China has managed to win the Thomas Cup nine times starting from 1982, 1986, 1988, 1990, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

China has won the Thomas Cup for five consecutive times since 2004.

-- BERNAMA

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