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National women shuttlers still long way from elite level, say coaches


National women’s doubles head coach Chan Chong Ming said his charges, like M. Thinaah, 23, Yap Ling, 21, and Go Pei Kee, 19, were among those who showed improvement in the ongoing Uber Cup tournament in their Group D matches against China, Denmark and Canada. — Picture via Twitter/Bernama
National women’s doubles head coach Chan Chong Ming said his charges, like M. Thinaah, 23, Yap Ling, 21, and Go Pei Kee, 19, were among those who showed improvement in the ongoing Uber Cup tournament in their Group D matches against China, Denmark and Canada. — Picture via Twitter/Bernama

AARHUS, Oct 12 — The national Uber Cup squad still have a lot of work to do if they intend to pose a threat to the best players at the next edition of the women’s team competition.

National women’s doubles head coach Chan Chong Ming, who watched the young Malaysian side end their Uber Cup group campaign at the Ceres Arena here without a win, said they would need to improve in terms of strength, speed and power as well as gain more experience if they are to achieve better results in international tournaments.

Chong Ming, who partnered Chew Choon Eng to win the men’s doubles gold at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, said his charges, like M. Thinaah, 23, Yap Ling, 21, and Go Pei Kee, 19, were among those who showed improvement in the ongoing Uber Cup tournament in their Group D matches against China, Denmark and Canada.

“Thinaah performed well and showed leadership traits although she played with her regular partner Pearly Tan in all three group ties. We can see that she was aggressive and showed plenty of fighting spirit. I feel that she can be a role model.

“To me, although Yap Ling did not perform up to par in the team’s loss to Denmark, she managed to overcome her nervousness of competing at the highest level. Pei Kee, meanwhile, played well, was aggressive and not nervous at all,” he said via a video clip shared with the media by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM).

Chong Ming said that Pearly, who is still undergoing treatment for a shoulder injury suffered during the recent Sudirman Cup, was expected to resume her partnership with M. Thinaah at the Denmark Open in Odense next week.  

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Malaysia ended their campaign in the ongoing Uber Cup by finishing last in Group D with three defeats — 4-1 to hosts Denmark, 5-0 to China and 4-1 to Canada — and failed to meet their quarter-final target.

Meanwhile, national singles head coach Indra Wijaya admitted that his charges were not strong enough to take on the world’s best, although he was happy with their performance here.

He said there was still a huge gap in standard between his shuttlers, especially K. Letshanaa, 18, and Siti Nurshuhaini Azman, 17, and their opponents at the Uber Cup, but he hoped that this would be a stepping stone for them in their badminton career.

“This is the first time that our juniors, with very minimal international experience, are competing in the Uber Cup but the likes of Eoon Qi Xuan, Letshanaa and Siti were not afraid of facing world-class opponents and even showed their potential that was very pleasing to watch.

“As for S. Kisona, I hope she will be more open-minded in doing the things that she is supposed to do during training so that she will be able to play well in top-level tournaments,” he said.

With their Uber Cup campaign done and dusted, players like Lee Meng Yean, Yap Ling, Thinaah, Pearly and Kisona are set to compete in the Denmark Open from October 19-24 and the French Open from October 26-31 while the juniors are expected to take part in the Czech Open from October 21-24 and Belgian International from October 27-30. — Bernama

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