Mew Choo the only bright spot THE Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will have to regret their decision in not fielding a women’s team in the Vietnam SEA Games. The competition ended on Friday with Wong Mew Choo saving Malaysia the blushes when she ended a 26-year wait for the women’s singles title. The outstanding performances of the 20-year-old Mew Choo - who beat first and second seeds Li Li of Singapore and Salakjit Ponsana of Thailand – to claim the crown made up for men’s team failure to retain the team and singles titles. A women’s team led by Mew Choo would definitely have been serious medal contenders. Mew Choo’s achievement must come as a wake-up call to BAM to pay more attention to the women players. There was much euphoria when Ang Li Peng-Lim Pek Siah became the first Malaysian women’s doubles pair to win gold at the Manchester Commonwealth Games last year. Now, the BAM must ride on Mew Choo’s victory to make serious efforts to lift the women’s game. Singles chief coach Misbun Sidek said: “The competition is already over and there is no point talking about whether we should have competed in the women’s team event. “But Mew Choo certainly hogged the limelight here. Her win will lift the profile of the women’s singles players in the country. We have to sustain that victory.” For the women’s competition in the Games, Malaysia’s other representatives were the doubles pair of Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty. The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) shot down BAM’s plan to send a full eight-member women’s team. But unlike some other associations, the BAM chose not to fork out their own money to make up a team for the Games. Misbun said that he would now prepare Mew Choo to compete in more Open tournaments next year and there would also be more focus on the Uber Cup team. “We did not send the women for most major tournaments because they have not reached the standard to compete in them. There is no point sending players who are not ready to give good challenges. Mew Choo is now ready and she will be sent out more often,” he said. “Our main task next year are the Thomas and Uber Cup competitions. The women will have to get ready for the Uber Cup qualifying tournament (at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Association Hall in February).” Misbun hoped that there would be more players like Mew Choo coming through the line. “Mew Choo made it because she is very committed in training. In the last few months that I have trained her, she did not make a single complaint over what was thrown at her. She is eager to learn and is very dedicated. We need players like her to form a solid women’s team,” he said. Malaysia also won a gold medal through the men’s doubles pair of Choong Tan Fook-Lee Wan Wah. With the two gold medals, Malaysia ended their campaign in Ho Chi Minh City as the second best team in the region. Indonesia won three titles - the men’s team, men’s singles and women’s doubles. Thailand and Singapore won one each from the mixed doubles and women’s team respectively.