Malaysia cannot afford Chong Wei defeat at Thomas Cup, says Rashid

By Seng Foo 17 May 2018 521
Malaysia cannot afford Chong Wei defeat at Thomas Cup, says Rashid
Malaysia cannot afford a defeat of Lee Chong Wei in any game at the 2018 Thomas Cup, according to former national player Rashid Sidek.

The 2018 Thomas Cup, taking place from May 20 to 27 in Bangkok, Thailand, will see Malaysia field a men's team with a good blend of youth and experience.

The 35-year-old will lead the way at the tournament, with Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin and youngsters Lee Zii Jia and Leong Jun Hao joining him as singles representatives.

Meanwhile, the doubles players are Goh V Shem, Tan Wee Kiong, Soh Wooi Yik, Teo Ee Yi, Arif Abdul Latif, and Aaron Chia.

"If we face weaker teams, maybe Chong Wei can be rested," the 1992 Thomas Cup winner told Astro Arena.

"But if he gets picked to play, he cannot afford to lose. Otherwise, we will be badly affected.

"We need a win from Chong Wei."

At the upcoming Thomas Cup, Malaysia are in Group D alongside defending champions Denmark, Russia and Algeria, and aim to reach the semi-finals as they did in 2016.

"Based on the team's strengths, the target of reaching the semi-finals is feasible," Rashid added.

"It is not impossible for Malaysia to reach the final or even become the winners.

"What's important is that there must be a plan to ensure the team and players' focus."

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