BAM decide against sending players to China meet

IN the wake of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus, the BA of Malaysia (BAM) have decided not to send their shuttlers for the Lingshui China Masters on Feb 25-March 1.

This was confirmed by BAM coaching director Wong Choong Hann, who had consulted the coaching and training (C&T) committee and the national coaches on taking proactive measures.

“We are still waiting for additional input from Wisma Putra (Foreign Affairs Ministry) but it’s safe to say that we will not be travelling to China for the Lingshui China Masters.

“It’s a straight forward decision. It’s just too risky for everyone given the current situation in China.

“The worry here is not about going to China, but what happens after that.

“It will be a problem if we get put under lockdown, or if we are not allowed to leave after the competition,” Choong Hann said yesterday.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) on Monday advised all National Sports Associations (NSAs) against travelling to China, be it for training stints or competitions.

BAM secretary-general Datuk Kenny Goh is also against the idea of travelling to the East Asian nation at the moment.

“There are just too many implications. My advice is don’t travel to China right now,” Kenny said.

It is learnt that the national body are also on high alert as the Asia Championships on April 21-26 will be hosted in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are closely monitoring the situation in China and will make decisions accordingly.

“In fact, our players travel often to China as many tournaments are held there.

“We just have to wait and see. Hopefully, things will settle down soon,” Choong Hann added.

Other major tournaments scheduled in China are the Asian Junior Championships (July 11-19) in Suzhou, the BWF World Tour Super 1000 China Open (Sept 15-20) in Changzhou, Fuzhou China Open (Nov 3-8), and the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals (Dec 9-13) in Guangzhou.

To date, several international events in China have either been cancelled or moved abroad due to the outbreak.

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