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04-25-2006, 06:18 PM #1
Badminton/Build up to Thomas Cup: I am good enough to deliver
25 Apr 2006
KUAN Beng Hong is not interested nor satisfied with simply being a reserve. If anything, the 23-year-old believes he is good enough to deliver a point for Malaysia in the Thomas Cup.
The national shuttlers left for Japan on Sunday while the Thomas Cup, which is the world team championship, begins in Sendai on Friday.
"Iím not the nervous player I used to be. Iím confident of playing as the third singles. Iím ready even if it is a crucial tie where Iím in a must-win situation," said Beng Hong.
Beng Hongís Thomas Cup career started only two years ago but such is his confidence that warming the bench this time is no longer acceptable to him.
In the Asian zone qualifiers in Jaipur, India in February, Beng Hong secured the winning point as the third singles against Indonesia in the semi-finals and South Korea in the final.
"Some may feel comfortable as the reserve but it will be depressing if I donít get a chance to see action in Japan," said Beng Hong.
"It will not be easy as all our singles players are in good form but I would not hesitate to grab any opportunity to play."
Malaysia can boast of a solid singles line-up where World No 2 Lee Chong Wei is in top form, Wong Choong Hannís experience will be vital while Hafiz Hashim is a reliable team player.
There is a strong possibility that Beng Hong could be fielded in one of the two preliminary group D matches against United States on Friday or England on Sunday.
Beng Hong could also feature in the quarter-finals but it will be based on Malaysiaís possible opponents with the coaches likely to favour him if Malaysia meet Indonesia in the last eight.
If Malaysia play Korea, Beng Hong may not feature.
"I can match the third singles of any country but playing the Chinese players would be difficult," said Beng Hong.
"Iíve never beaten Bao Chunlai or Xia Xuanze and have yet to play Chen Jin. However, Iíve nothing to lose and will gladly accept a chance to play China if we meet them."
04-25-2006, 07:14 PM #2
The mental state of Mal team is ready for second place at best or third place. They will give the cup to China team pre-maturely if lucky enough to advance to finals.
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