There will be no Goh Jin Wei, but the badminton event at the Malaysian Games (SUKMA) beginning on Tuesday, is still set to be one of the most competitive affairs with several big names eager to do their states proud.

Goh, who became SUKMA’s youngest badminton winner when she won gold at the 2014 edition at 14, will instead compete at the India International Challenge, which begins at the same time.

While Goh’s absence derails Penang’s chances, there’s a host of other names set to spice up the competition namely in the men’s singles.

World number 39 Ng Tze Yong is one of the favourites for gold in the men's singles, and the Johorean begins his quest to do so when he takes on Ariffin Nazri of Kedah.

Besides Ng, the other main contenders comprises of Jacky Kok (Johor), Leong Jun Hao, Lim Chong King, Justin Hoh (KL) and Aidil Sholeh (Selangor).

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) sent 65 shuttlers to be part of this year’s SUKMA.

There were questions as to why these national and back-up shuttlers are playing at the SUKMA instead of international events, but BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann clarified there was nothing wrong with it.

“We knew the SUKMA would not interfere with our programmes after the postponement of the 2022 Asian Games [in Hangzhou, China]. These players just want to represent their states who have invested a lot in them.

“I don’t see anything wrong. In China, their top players go back and play in local tournaments, representing their provinces,” Wong told New Straits Times.

Other notable names at the SUKMA include Taipei Open champions Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun who are representing Selangor and Melaka respectively in the men’s doubles.

The badminton event runs from Sept 20-24 at the Axiata Arena.

A post shared by JustinHoh (@justinhoh_0401)