Badminton Life

Don't Deny Thailand's Challenge, Says Misbun

GUANGZHOU, Nov 11 (Bernama) -- On paper, Malaysian shuttlers are better than the Thais. For Malaysia, that's half the battle won.

However, men's singles coach Datuk Misbun Sidek is aware their neighbour can deny Malaysia the chance to enter the semis of the badminton team event of the 16th Asian Games.

The Games will start at the Tianhe Gymnasium here on Saturday.

Malaysia will face Thailand in the quarter-finals after getting the bye in the first round.

"On paper, we can depend on our top men's singles and men's doubles, (Datuk) Lee Chong Wei and Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong but I'm worried about the others," he told reporters here Thursday.

On Thursday, the badminton team trained at the gymnasium, about 40km from the media centre.

The Malaysian second men's singles is Muhd Hafiz Hashim while the third is between Liew Darren and Chan Kwong Beng.

Misbun said Chong Wei might face world number eight, Thailand's single ace Boonsak Ponsana while Hafiz (20) would battle against world number 29, Tanongsak Saensomboonsak.

He said, although Hafiz showed dismal performance in the recent New Delhi Commonwealth Games, bowing out to Indian Kashyap Parupalli in the quarter-final, the 2003 All England champion showed improvement during the training.

"I've not decided who would be the third singles, between Liew Darren and Kwong Beng," he said.

Four years ago in Doha, Qatar, the badminton team took home one gold and three bronze medals. The Malaysians lost 1-3 to South Korea in the semi-finals of the team events.

Koo/Tan grabbed the gold in the men's doubles while the three bronze medals were from Chong Wei (men's singles), Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari/Wong Pei Tty (mix doubles) and team events.

The team event will start on Saturday until Monday, while the individual event is from Tuesday to Sunday.

Source from BERNAMA

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