BAM won't push Tze Yong on his road to recovery

SHAH ALAM: While it is important for men's singles Ng Tze Yong to participate in the ongoing Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC), the BA of Malaysia (BAM) will not push him to the limit.

This is because the 24-year-old has yet to fully recover from a lower back injury, and it is far more crucial to have him fit and ready for the upcoming World Tour tournaments in Europe.

On Tuesday, world No. 15 Tze Yong played his first full match of the season after sustaining a muscle tear in the first round of the Malaysia Open in January.

In the opening Group B tie against Brunei, a cautious Tze Yong still thrashed Kan Kah Kit 21-7, 21-11 in the first singles match, leading up to a 5-0 drubbing in favour of the host.

BAM coaching director Rexy Mainaky said the coaches and support staff are monitoring Tze Yong's progress closely but will not risk aggravating his injury in any way.

As it stands, Tze Yong's Olympic dream hangs in the balance as he only has until the end of April to make the cut.

Tze Yong is currently ranked No. 15 in the Race to Paris standings, five rungs below national No. 1 Lee Zii Jia.

A country can have a maximum of two players at the Olympics if they are in the top 16 (top eight for pairs) at the end of the one-year qualifying window.

"I have spoken to the coaches, and we are monitoring Tze Yong's recovery on a day-to-day basis.

"We tested him in the opening group tie against Brunei, and we will sit again to discuss and decide on our next step.

"Regardless, we need to have our other singles players like Zii Jia, Leong Jun Hao, and Eogene all ready to step in.

"We don't want to push Tze Yong too much because we worry we might aggravate his injury.

"We cannot risk that because he has a few important tournaments after this to collect Olympic ranking points," said Rexy.

Ahead of the final group tie against Taiwan on Thursday, Rexy emphasised on mental readiness.

"Taiwan look exactly like us, so it's essential to not only focus on technique or what we will do against them.

"Right now, we want to manage the mental focus, as well as the players' hunger to win against Taiwan," added Rexy.

The top two teams from the group will advance to the quarter-finals, with the semi-finalists earning automatic qualification to the Thomas Cup Finals in April.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories