Badminton Life

Hafiz Exit Fuels Race For National Number Two Spot

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 (Bernama) -- The exit of Hafiz Hashim from the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) fold has opened up the race for the number two spot in the national team, ahead of the All England championships.

According to the Badminton World Federation's (BWF) men's singles ranking, Datuk Lee Chong Wei remains perched at the top while Hafiz is in 24th spot while the rest of the players in the national team are way behind.

Daren Liew is at 92nd spot, Tan Chun Seang (96) and Chong Wei Feng (122).

National head coach Rashid Sidek said young players like Daren, Tan, Chong and Chan Kwong Beng have the potential to fill in the vacuum left by Hafiz.

Rashid said the youngsters would now have a better opportunity to compete in international tournaments and improve their rankings, so as to close the huge gap between them and Chong Wei.

"They must finish among the top 30 or reach at least the quarter-final stage to collect points," he told Bernama after a training session at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara here Tuesday.

Rashid said the national players were currently undergoing training ahead of the National Proton GP Final 2010/Proton National Circuit GP Finals 2010 in Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu from Feb 18 to 21, and the German Open, Swiss Open next month.

Chong Wei meanwhile, will be preparing to defend his All England title in Birmingham from March 8 to 13.

Hafiz who was with BAM for about three years, had decided to severe ties on with BAM and turn professional.

Source from BERNAMA

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