Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Malaysia get lowly seeding for Sudirman Cup

KUALA LUMPUR: This is definitely not a perfect 10.
Malaysia have been seeded a poor 10th for the Sudirman Cup, which will be held in Dongquan, China, from May 10-17.

The draw conducted on Monday saw Malaysia being lumped in Group 1D with second seeds and fancied South Korea and a much-improved India.

Malaysia had maintained a top-eight seeding in the last few editions of the world mixed team event. But, this time, they’ve even been pipped by Germany and Taiwan.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary Ng Chin Chai, while disappointed with Malaysia’s poor seeding, admitted that it was expected due to the drop in the players’ world rankings across the board.

“The seeding is a reflection of our players’ low ranking, including Lee Chong Wei (who has dropped to No. 8),” said Chin Chai.

“The change in partnerships in the men’s doubles has also contributed to our pairs’ low rankings.”
But Chin Chai feels that the draw “isn’t too bad” and that Malaysia still have a chance to get through the group stages.

The top 12 teams in Division One have been divided into four groups. Only the top two teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals.

On paper, though, it looks tough for Malaysia.

South Korea have a more balanced men and women players. India have good women shuttlers and will also be banking on reigning Swiss Open champion K. Srikanth to deliver in the men’s singles.
Chin Chai said that they have until April 27 to submit the names of two top players for every event – men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles – for the event.
He is hoping that Chong Wei would be able to make the team by then.

Chong Wei will attend his doping case hearing with Badminton World Federation (BWF) on April 11 in Amsterdam. He was tested positive for the banned substance dexamethasone during the World Championships in Copenhagen last August.

The shuttler may be hit with a two-year ban or escape with a lighter sentence if he can convince the three-member panel of his innocence.
“If he is cleared, we will field him at first singles,” said Chin Chai.

If Chong Wei is unable to play, then world No. 37 Chong Wei Feng, Zulfadli Zulkiffli (No. 54), Mohd Arif Abdul Latif (No. 58), Tan Chun Seang (No. 58), Goh Soon Huat (No. 83), Liew Daren (No. 91) and Iskandar Zulkarnain (No. 96) will fight it out for the two men’s singles spots.




by Rajes Paul - The Star

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