PETALING JAYA, 6 Sept – As expected, family commitments and the Covid-19 fear lurking, Malaysian Olympians, Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong have pulled out of the national squad to the Thomas Cup Finals scheduled to be held in Aarhus, Denmark from Oct 3-11.
In a statement released by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on Sunday at the end of a four-day motivational camp in Pulau Tioman, Pahang, said the duo have decided not to don national colours in the Thomas Cup Finals.
Without a doubt, the duo has put family commitments as the top priority in making the decision. The writing was on the wall when V Shem-Wee Kiong skipped the motivational camp in Pulau Tioman.
V Shem became a first-time father on Aug 30 while Wee Kiong’s wife is due to give birth to the couple’s second baby on Oct 17.
With the experienced V Shem-Wee Kiong, winners of the Rio Olympics silver medal in 2016 and once ranked No 1 in the world, Malaysia will count on current national No 1 pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Teo Eei Yi-Ong Yew Sin, and Goh Sze Fei-Nur Izzuddin Rumsani to carry Malaysia’s doubles hopes.
Malaysia’s challenge in the men’s singles will be led by SEA Games champion Lee Zii Jia who is ranked No 10 in the world. The others named for the singles are veteran professional Liew Daren, Cheam June Wei, and Leong Jun Hao.
There were no surprises in the women’s squad for the Uber Cup Finals to be held at the same time as the Thomas Cup Finals.
The Uber Cup squad will be led by the country’s No 1 women shuttle Soniia Cheah. Also in the singles team is SEA Games gold medallist S. Kisona, former World Junior champion Goh Jin Wei and Eoon Qi Xuan.
The doubles pairs are Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean, Vivian Hoo-Yap Cheng Wen, and fast-improving Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah.
In the Thomas Cup Finals, Malaysia is drawn in Group A and has Indonesia, Netherlands, and England for company. Malaysian women will battle South Korea, Indonesia, and Australia in Group B.
The top two teams in their respective groups in both Finals will advance to the knockout stage and play in the quarter-finals.
Malaysia flopped in the last edition of the Finals in Bangkok in 2018 and failed to achieve its semi-finals target in the Thomas Cup after crashing to a 3-1 defeat to perennial rivals Indonesia in the quarters.
The Malaysian women failed to get past the group stages in the Uber Cup. Malaysia has never won the Uber Cup since it was incepted in 1957.
For the record, Malaysia has won the Thomas Cup five times and this was achieved in 1949, 1952, 1955, 1967, and 1992.

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