KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia may not participate in the women’s badminton team event at the Asian Games for the first time since 1998 Bangkok edition.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have decided that they would not be sending a full women’s team unless all the 10 players make the A category under Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) selection for the Jakarta Games from Aug 18-Sept 2.
Only Lee Meng Yean-Chow Mei Kuan (women’s doubles), Shevon Lai Jemie and Goh Liu Ying (both mixed doubles) made the cut when BAM presented their list of 20 athletes to the OCM during the Asian Games final selection committee meeting on Monday.
In a bid to keep the contingent cost low, the OCM imposed a stricter qualifying criteria by raising the standard from sixth to fourth place result from the previous Asian Games or rankings at the Asian championships.
Only A category-rated athletes are fully funded by the government for Asiad while the expenses of those under B category will be borne by the national sports associations.
BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria said it didn’t serve any purpose sending players to Asiad just to make up the numbers.
“We must understand that the Asian Games is not a competition meant for players’ exposure.
“It’s not a place for experiment,” he said after chairing his last coaching and training committee meeting yesterday.
“Instead of sending players to the Asian Games, we might as well send them to other tournaments where they could earn some ranking points. Asian Games offer no ranking points.
“But all is not lost yet as the final list of contingent will not be finalised before June 30.
“We’ll appeal to OCM to include the rest of our six women players,” said Norza as the reporters burst into laughter (Norza is also the president of OCM).
“In the event that our appeal is not accepted, we’ll not be sending any player under B category.”
The 10-man side comprise Lee Chong Wei, Lee Zii Jia, Leong Jun Hao, Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Tan Wee Kiong, Goh V Shem, Teo Ee Yi, Ong Yew Sin, Goh Soon Huat and Chan Peng Soon.
Malaysia were the bronze medallists in the team event in Incheon four years ago.