The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have raised the bar slightly higher for their shuttlers at the Asian Games, which begin in Incheon, South Korea, next week.
BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai said that they are targeting at least two silver medals (in the men’s singles and doubles) and a bronze (men’s team) this time.
At the Guangzhou Asiad four years ago, Malaysia won two silver medals through Lee Chong Wei (men’s singles) and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (men’s doubles).
“It is only right to aim for more than what we achieved at the previous Games,” said Chin Chai.
“So, we are looking at an additional bronze in the men’s team event this time.”
Malaysia are expected to meet top seeds and defending champions China in the semi-finals of the men’s team event. The semi-finalists are assured of the bronze medals.
Hope is high on Chong Wei to reach his second consecutive final in the men’s singles event, where his main challengers will be China’s Lin Dan and Chen Long.
Chong Wei could meet five-time world champion Lin Dan as early as in the semi-finals, depending on the draw.
Lin Dan defeated Chong Wei at the 2010 Asiad final while Chen Long will be heading into the Incheon Games on a high, after beating the Malaysian in the final of the World Championships in Copenhagen last month.
Chin Chai knows it will be tougher for the men’s doubles to reach the final again – but he’s hoping that Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem and Tan Boon Heong-Hoon Thien How will be able to defy the odds.
“We do not have Koo for our Asiad challenge. Boon Heong is experienced but he will be partnering Hoon for the first time at the Asiad. They’ve done well before ... we hope they will perform well again,” said Chin Chai.
Boon Heong won the gold medal with Kien Keat at the 2006 Asian Games in Doha but failed to defend it in Guangzhou after losing to Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia in the final.
“We also have Commonwealth Games gold medallists Wee Kiong-V Shem. They are capable of rising to the occasion.”
The other men’s singles shuttlers are Chong Wei Feng, Goh Soon Huat and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin. Also heading for Incheon are women’s shuttlers Tee Jing Yi, Yang Li Lian, Lim Chiew Sien, Lim Yin Fun, Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei, Amelia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho and the mixed doubles pairs of Chan Peng Soon-Ng Hui Lin and Lim Khim Wah-Lim Yin Loo - The Star online