KUALA LUMPUR (June 24): The shuttle’s now in your court, Ng Tze Yong!
Malaysia’s new hope in men’s singles event for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, showed no sign of fear to make his debut at the multi-sports event.
In fact, Tze Yong, who will be replacing Malaysia’s number one shuttler, Lee Zii Jia, after the latter pulled out from the quadrennial Games, had set his sights to take home a medal for the country in Birmingham.
“A medal of any colour would do for me,” he told reporters when met at the training session, yesterday.
As he felt elated to carry Malaysia’s challenge in Birmingham, the current world number 48 realised that he has to shoulder a huge responsibility to replace Zii Jia.
However, the 22-year-old shuttler said he did not want to overthink on such predicaments including his future opponents as he is raring to unleash his true potential in the event that will be held at the National Exhibition Centre.
In a video shared with the media last night, Zii Jia said difficulties in coping with a tight schedule and the need to focus fully on the World Championships in Tokyo from Aug 22 to 28 prompted him to skip the games.
A mammoth task awaits the ‘underdog’ Tze Yong as he would have the opportunity to face India’s Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth as well as reigning world champion from Singapore, Loh Kean Yew.
Meanwhile, Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky acknowledged the fact that attention now would be on his charges’ ability to rise to the occasion in Birmingham.
“If we look at it from a historical point of view, I think our doubles players stand a great chance…hopefully the players can handle the pressure and increase their enthusiasm to deliver a positive result,” he said.
In doubles department, Malaysia can rely on the services of world number six men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, world number 10 women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah and the experienced Chan Peng Soon and his mixed doubles partner Cheah Yee See to deliver a medal for the country.
Badminton is hoped to contribute two gold medals, while gymnastics, lawn bowls, weightlifting, squash and powerlifting are expected to chip in one gold each at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which kicks off from July 28 till Aug 8. — Bernama