23 Apr 2006
NST
HOLDING aloft the Thomas Cup is the ultimate aim of a captain and Wong Choong Hann wants to feel that excitement which was experienced by captains like Teh Kew San and Razif Sidek.

Kew San led Malaysia to Thomas Cup victory in 1967, and Razif planted a skipper’s kiss on the Cup in Kuala Lumpur 25 years later.

Both were not only respected captains but also key figures in Malaysia’s triumph against perennial rivals Indonesia on both occasions.

And now Choong Hann, the most experienced singles player and captain of the present squad, aims to hold aloft the Thomas Cup come May 7, and he knows the feeling will be priceless.

"We are not the favourites but we have a good team this time. If we can win the Thomas Cup, it will be the highlight of my career," said Choong Hann.

"We have a complete team of coaches and sports science experts to provide the assistance in every aspect and my role as captain is really minimal.

"It is a compliment to lead such a talented team. Razif was a popular captain and led by example and it will be fantastic if our team can go on to repeat the success of 1992.

"I too have a big role to play as the second singles. It is pointless just to hope for miracles and my job is to deliver the points for Malaysia when I play."

Choong Hann also captained the 2004 squad but the 29-year-old would rather forget that finals in Jakarta.

Playing the first singles, Choong Hann was humbled by Sony Dwi Kuncoro, then 19, and the rest of the players, except for the doubles pair of Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah, fell without a fight.

"We are better prepared now and our players can fight for all five points in a match," said a confident Choong Hann.

"Whatever happens, the players are fired up to give their best."