Shuttlers surpass target set by BAM

KUALA LUMPUR: The curtain came down on the Birmingham Commonwealth Games today with the Malaysian badminton camp winning two gold, one silver and two bronze, surpassing the target set by BAM.

While the national team could have done better, the results bode well for the young team as they gear up for the remainder of the year, which includes the World Championships in Tokyo on Aug 22-28, as well as several top-tier World Tour events.

More importantly for the players is the start of the one-year Olympic qualifying period next May. For players like world No 42 Ng Tze Yong, who won silver in the Commonwealth men's singles, and world No 11 Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah who bagged the women's doubles gold, it was a brilliant outing.

However, top men's doubles Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik and mixed doubles Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing, who were equally inspirational in the mixed team event, will need to show more grit if they want to mount a strong challenge for future major events.

BAM doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky admitted that more work needs to be done amid his joy at witnessing Pearly-Thinaah successfully defending the gold medal won by Vivian Hoo-Chow Mei Kuan in the 2018 edition, following their 21-5, 21-8 drubbing of England's Lauren Smith-Chloe Birch at the NEC Hall.

"The women's doubles pair have done very well here in Birmingham.

"However, there is still a lot of work to be done with the men's doubles and mixed doubles," said Rexy, who was left speechless when Aaron-Wooi Yik crashed out in the semi-finals on Sunday.

The top seeds squandered a great opportunity to reach the final after losing in three games to England's Ben Lane-Sean Vendy, and had to settle for the bronze after seeing off compatriots Chan Peng Soon-Tan Kian Meng in the playoff match.

Similarly, Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing also failed to live up to their top billing, when they lost in the last four to eventual gold medallist, Terry Hee-Jessica Tan of Singapore. Kian Meng-Pei Jing settled for the bronze after defeating Scotland's Adam Hall-Julie Macpherson.

Despite the setbacks, Rexy attributed Malaysia's decent showing to the support service staff that consist of those from the national body, the National Sports Council, National Sports Institute and the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

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