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KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Faizal Azumu (pix) is optimistic that the national badminton teams are capable of achieving a remarkable performance in three major championships – the Sudirman Cup, the Thomas Cup and the Uber Cup – that will take place soon.

Ahmad Faizal said that based on the discipline and performance of the players who are at very good levels, and the lack of worrying injuries, he believes the teams can meet a tough challenge in the next three championships. in teams.

“I don’t expect the impossible from the teams, but I want them to represent our country well by maintaining a high level of discipline, sportsmanship and by building a good reputation on and off the pitch. to earn the respect of all who watch.

“I hope they play well and understand that all Malaysians, from Yang di-Pertuan Agong to ordinary citizens, are with them in their fight. When they jump, we jump, and as they wobble and rise, so do we.

“I don’t want to pressure them, but I hope to perform well at all three championships,” he said at a press conference here today before visiting Badminton Malaysia Academy in Bukit Kiara with his deputy Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.

He had previously spoken to the teams’ players as he handed the Jalur Gemilang (national flag) to Thomas Cup and Sudirman Cup captain Lee Zii Jia. The singles player then led the team in reading their commitments.

The Sudirman Cup will take place in Vantaa, Finland from September 26 to October 3, while the Thomas and Uber Cup finals will take place in Aarhus, Denmark from October 9 to 17.

In the last editions of the Sudirman Cup in Nanning, China in 2019 and the Thomas Cup 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, the national teams crashed in the quarter-finals, while the women’s team failed to make it past the Uber Cup 2018 group stage.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Faizal, who was amazed at the academy’s facilities and the efforts of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to encourage young talent, suggested that other sports associations use similar models. .

He said the badminton family concept practiced by BAM of hosting over 60 young players, ages 13-18, to learn and hone their badminton skills under one roof is something to emulate.

“These players are trained from the start in terms of education, discipline among others. Everything is there, including homeschooling. So when we talk about academies, it’s a real academy, ”he said.

Meanwhile, BAM President Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria expressed his gratitude to Ahmad Faizal and Ti for their visit to the academy, although they had just started their duties at the end of last month, and hoped that their assistance will continue in the future. Bernama