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By Amiril Muttaqien Meketar
KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 -- The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) does not see the participation of three professional players, namely the mixed doubles pair of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and women's singles shuttler Soniia Cheah to train at the Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM). Bukit Kiara, here, as a problem to the national team.
Its president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria stressed that the association had never set any standard for any player to undergo preparatory training at ABM ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games next month.
“They (Peng Soon, Liu Ying, Soniia) are also representing the country and will go together as a team. We will continue to give strong support to all regardless (whether) they are under BAM or outside BAM,” he told Bernama.
The media had previously reported that BAM had invited the three to undergo training at ABM in preparation for the biggest sporting event in Japan, besides gathering all the shuttlers who will compete in the Olympics under one roof following the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country, which led to a total lockdown (Movement Control Order 3.0) from June 1 to 14.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying, silver medallits at the Rio Olympics in 2016, reported for the quarantine-based training camp with the national team at ABM on May 24 while Soniia is said will be joining the pair at the end of this month.
The decision for the shuttlers to undergo full-time training at ABM was made after all badminton courts were ordered to close during the lockdown period.
For the record, Peng Soon-Liu Ying left BAM in December 2018 while Soniia was dropped from country's badminton governing body in February following a disappointing performance at three tournaments in Thailand earlier this year.
Peng Soon-Liu Ying and Soniia are the country's professional representatives who have qualified to compete in the world's biggest sporting event in Tokyo.
They will be joined by five other players under BAM, namely men's singles top shuttler Lee Zii Jia, men's doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and women's doubles pair Chow Mei Kuan-Lee Meng Yean.
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8.
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