BAM cull national squad of underperforming players

Doubles pair Teo Ee Yi (right) and Ong Yew Sin (left) have been axed from the national squad. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Senior men’s doubles pair Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi are among seven shuttlers who have been shown the exit by Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in its bid to form a new Project 24 squad.

Besides the world No 19 pair, others who were dropped are men’s singles shuttlers Song Joo Vern, Tan Jia Wei and Ziyad Md Taha and women’s doubles pair Lim Peiy Yee-Lim Chiew Sien.

Project 24 was launched in September with the aim of winning gold at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

BAM secretary-general Kenny Goh, who is also coaching-and-training committee chairman, made the announcement after a 1.5 hour meeting at Academy Badminton Malaysia in Bukit Kiara today.

Kenny said the decision was made after reviewing the performances of players based on key performance indicators and the four criteria set for players to achieve as of Dec 31, 2019.

“Almost all of the players in our stable have been with us for many years,” he told reporters.

“They’ve contributed a lot to the country but when a review is done, we have to look at their overall performance.

“With that, we have decided to retain some players and let go of others.”

However, Kenny has not completely closed the door to those who have been axed emphasising  that if their performances improve, they will have a chance to represent Malaysia.

For those who were retained, keeping their spots won’t be easy as another review will be done in April.

“We will give them ample tournaments for the next three to four months for them to prove themselves,” said Kenny.

“After that, we will sit down with the players do another review.”

Even though the goal for Project 24 is the Paris Olympics, Tokyo 2020 will not be neglected.

“We’ve done strategic planning to focus more on the players who can qualify for Tokyo 2020 including independent players,” adds Kenny.

“We will help them to work towards qualifying as well as winning a medal in Tokyo.”

Players retained in the national squad:

Men’s singles: Lee Zii Jia, Cheam Jun Wei, Lim Chong King, Leong Jun Hao, Ng Tze Yong, Aidil Sholeh Ali Sadikin

Women’s singles: Goh Jin Wei, Soniia Cheah, Lee Ying Ying, S.Kisona, Eoon Qi Xuan

Men’s doubles: Aaron Chia, Soh Wooi Yik, Goh Sze Fei, Nur Izzuddin Mohd Rumsani, Low Hang Yee, Man Wei Chong, Ng Eng Cheong, Chia Weijie, Choong Hon Jian, Chang Yee Jun, Tee Kai Wun

Women’s doubles: Vivian Hoo, Yap Cheng Wen, Chow Mei Kuan, Lee Meng Yean, Teoh Mei Xing, Anna Cheong, Pearly Tan, M. Thinaah, Yap Ling

Mixed doubles: Goh Soon Huat, Shevon Lai, Tan Kian Meng, Lai Pei Jing, Chen Tang Jie, Peck Yen Wei, Cheah Yee See, Hoo Pang Ron.