Badminton Life

World Badminton news Today 25/2/2012

by Andrew

It was a sad day for national doubles shuttler Chin Eei Hui when she lost her No. 1 fan – her loving father – yesterday.

The 30-year-old Eei Hui rushed home to Penang after learning that her goldsmith father Chin See Foon, or fondly known as Steven, collapsed and died while playing badminton.

He was 64 years old.

Eei Hui, who was seen laughing and joking just hours before at the ongoing Selangor Open at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara, was totally distraught when she found out about her father’s demise.

She and her partner Wong Pei Tty then conceded a walkover to Ng Sin Er-Shevon Lai Jemie in the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles event. Her participation in the German Open and All-England is now doubtful.

Eei Hui-Pei Tty are ranked 14th in the world and they have to stay in the top 16 until the end of April to ensure themselves a spot in the London Olympics in August.

Indian sensation Saina Nehwal hoping for gold medal in London Olympics 2012

The Indian badminton circle is now looking up to India’s top female shuttler Saina Nehwal as the biggest hope for a medal in London Olympics.

The Indian badminton legend Nandu Natekar, in an event in which he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award, gave his vote of confidence to the Saina Nehwal despite of the fact that she has been struggling throughout in 2011, mostly due to injuries.

The Natekar said, “She is the only one who has reached that level...been in the top five for some time. So naturally, she is the best hope. But it has to be seen what kind of effort she puts in ahead of the Olympics.”

The Indian badminton queen lost every time she faced the Chinese shuttlers last year and it puts a big question mark on her quest for gold medal in the London Olympics where the three Chinese shuttlers, World Number one Wang Yihan, World Number two Wang Xin and World Number three Wang Shixian, are set to exhibit their excellence.

However, Natekar was firmed with his opinion and justified Saina’s ordinary performance, a result of back to back encounters and that she just needs to perk up her physical and mental fitness.

The Arjuna awardee Natekar said, “It has been probably difficult for her to keep on passing one Chinese after another. She probably needs a little more effort and confidence to surpass the Chinese. Chinese are the best and when you are playing one Chinese after another, it is difficult.”

It seems aftershocks of her injuries are still there and she is trying to find her rhythm. She looked completely out of touch in her 44 minutes latest tussle with China’s Jiang Yanjiao in the Uber Cup preliminaries.

However, the Indian shuttler has still managed to sustain her position in the top four female badminton players of the world despite of her injuries and fluctuating performance in the last season.

The World Number four Saina Nehwal, along with her doubles female pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, is capable of stunning any world class player in the London Olympics 2012.

Badminton Association of Malaysia summons Hafiz Hashim for Thomas Cup preparations

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has directed badminton ace Muhammad Hafiz Hashim to join the national squad immediately in the preparations for the Thomas Cup finals set to be held in China from May this year.

The World Number 32, singles player Hafiz Hashim started playing independently last year after getting sponsors but BAM summoned him for national squad of Thomas Cup preliminaries, held last week in Macau.

Despite of not being completely in shape the singles shuttler Hafiz, who also represents Kuala Lumpur Racket Club (KLRC), was very acrobatic in his decisive encounter against India where he ensured for Malaysia’s berth in the Thomas Cup Finals.

The chairman of BAM coaching and training committee Ng Chin Chai feels that he is still needed in the team and he looked contented while announcing his prime shuttler’s affirmative response to call.

He said, “We have spoken to him and he has agreed to report as soon as possible for training. We will finalise our best team later.”

All the top shuttlers, except World Number one Lee Chong Wei, are in tight contest of the selection for the Thomas Cup finals.

The two preferred singles players World Number 43 Daren Liew and the World Number 50 Mohamad Arif Abdul Latif have earned a great deal of admiration for their elevated performance in the event but their failure to win any match has put a big question mark on their selection.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia is now also considering reserved and independent players for the squad to be victorious in the Thomas Cup finals. They are extremely careful in finalising plans and strategies.

Chin Chai said, “We haven’t gone into the details of the team’s preparations yet. For now, we are waiting for the report from the coaches and team managers before making any plans.”

Besides Hafiz, Arif and Daren Liew, the other promising shuttlers who are contesting to make their cut in the final squad are Wong Choong Hann, Chong Wei Feng, Misbun Ramdan Misbun and last but not the least junior world champion Zulfadli Zulkiffli.

The independent players include Choong Hann, Chun Seang, Yogendran Krishnan, Chong Chieh and Zulfadli along with Hafiz Hashim.

In BAM’s next meeting on Tuesday, the Thomas Cup Finals preparation is going to be the top agenda.

The Malaysian Badminton Association is giving Zulfadli Zulkiffli the eye and considers his name for the national training camp of the Thomas Cup finals.

The Asian and world junior champion Zulfadli, who represents Kuala Lumpur Racket Club (KLRC), is in the focus as he exhibits his skills in the Selangor Open.

High Performance Team (HPT) member Datuk James Selvaraj has expressed his thoughts about bringing and nurturing the Malaysian lad in training camp. He is toying with the idea to suggest his name in the Coaching and Training committee (CNT) meeting.

Selvaraj said, “He is a bright talent who has made us proud by winning the Asian and world junior titles. I will bring up the idea of inviting him to join the national team to the CNT.”

The last time Zulfadli joined the central training session was just before the Asian and world junior championships and it yielded the best results as Zulfadli became the first Malaysian to win World Junior Champion title.

The BAM general manager Kenny Goh and member of HPT Wong Ah Jit, in a meeting with KLRC owner Datuk Seri Andrew, officially requested KLRC to release World Number 32 Muhammad Hafiz Hashim and Zulfadli for national training camp.

Former national shuttler and Coach James Selvaraj showed his contentment on the development and tagged this as a good omen for young Zulfadli and Badminton Malaysia Association. He feels that it will increase Malaysia’s chances to grab the best in Thomas Cup finals.

He said, “It will benefit Zulfadli and the team if he joins the national training centre. If he proves himself, we may even select him for the Thomas Cup Finals. But for now, it will be good if BAM gets him in first.”

The young shuttler seized the Asian and World Junior Champion crowns last year and was honoured with the Best Malaysian Athlete of 2011 award but still Zulfadli was overlooked by BAM for the Thomas Cup preliminaries squad.

Zulfadli is right now trying to register his mark in the Selangor Open and he ensured his spot in the third round by winning against Kedah’s Ng Su Ly. He is expected to meet World Number 43 Daren Liew if he proceeds to quarter-final of the event.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has thrown a lifeline to world junior champion Zulfadli Zulkifli after declaring that he had still fight for a place in the Thomas Cup squad to Wuhan, China, in May.

BAM general manager Kenny Goh said he would propose to the BAM Coaching and Training Committee (C&T) to call up all talented players to undergo centralised training before naming the final squad.

"We will submit the names of the Thomas Cup squad in early May. Since we need to start intensive centralised training early, players like Zulfadli will be included in the training.

"Not only Zulfadli, even the junior doubles pair Nelson Heg-Teo Ee Yi, winners of the Asian Junior title will be called up. The final selection will be based on merit, performance and capability," he told reporters at his office in Bukit Kiara here today.

Kenny Goh said BAM would not hesitate to select Zulfadli or any player who can prove their capability to shoulder the challenge in Wuhan.


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