V Shem confident of team’s chances in Thomas Cup

MEN’S doubles professional shuttler Goh V Shem is confident that the current national team has a strong chance of doing well in the 2020 Thomas Cup, to be held in Aarhus, Denmark in October.

“The Malaysian team is strong. Now, we have Lee Zii Jia in singles. We also have a strong doubles partnership in Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik.

“We must be confident. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to play in a team event like the Thomas Cup and win it,” V Shem, who partnered Tan Wee Kiong to a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, told reporters after checking in at the Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM) in Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The Thomas Cup and Uber Cup

were initially scheduled for May 16-24. They were then moved to Aug 15-23 before the dates were changed again to Oct 3-11 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the preparations for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup, the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has decided to call up professional shuttlers to attend the joint training at the ABM starting today.

The other professionals called up for the joint training included men’s singles players Liew Daren and Soong Joo Ven; men’s doubles pair Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin; and mixed doubles pair Chan Peng Soon- Goh Liu Ying.

V Shem, who was delighted to be back at the ABM after quitting the BAM last year, admitted that he and Tan, as well as the other independent shuttlers, would have to adapt to training under new BAM head coach Flandy Limpele, 46.

V Shem-Tan will not have their coach Chew Choon Eng with them under the joint training sessions with the national team.

Meanwhile, BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann hoped that the presence of the professional players would benefit the younger players, especially in terms of providing quality sparring and training.

He also said the joint training is an effort to build a solid team spirit and to be better prepared for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup.

“All the professional players have reported for duty and underwent Covid-19 smear tests today. They need to isolate themselves at home until the results are obtained in

the next 24 hours before they can start training,” he said yesterday. — Bernama