Sudirman Cup: Choong Hann cautiously optimistic despite tough draw
KUALA LUMPUR,. Malaysia may have been handed a tough draw in the Sudirman Cup 2021 but coaching director Wong Choong Hann believes his charges have a fair chance of qualifying for the knockout stage.
In the draw released by Badminton World Federation (BWF) today, Malaysia, the eighth seed, have been placed in Group D together with 2019 runners-up Japan, England and Egypt for the tournament, which will be held from Sept 26 to Oct 3 in Vantaa, Finland.
“As we know, Japan are the biggest threat. Our preparations for the Sudirman, Thomas and Uber Cups have started and we will assess their (players’) current performance before naming the final team.
“I believe in our preparations but have to seriously view the threat posed by England; we have a chance of beating them but need to be focused and cautious.
“Where Egypt are concerned, we should be able to overcome them and may field our younger players,” he said, adding that the management was still assessing the players for the mixed team event.
The top two teams in the group qualify for the quarter-finals or knockout stage.
Meanwhile, girls’ singles shuttlers Siti Nurshuhaini Azman and Tan Zhing Yi displayed their top form to remain unbeaten after three matches in the Internal Junior Ranking competition.
Siti notched another win today after edging Ong Xin Yee 21-16, 19-21, 21-15 while Zhing Yi picked up her third straight win when she defeated Joanne May Ng May Yin 21-14, 21-16, to emerge as the best bets to claim the top two spots.
“I had a great start and played well but she (Xin Yee) managed to read my game. I had to fight back in the third and stuck to my own game plan. I will remain focused and continue the battle to be the number one in this competition,” Siti said.