Tze Yong out of Olympics after BAC withdrawal

KUALA LUMPUR: The Paris dream is over for men's singles shuttler Ng Tze Yong.

The BA of Malaysia (BAM) confirmed on Saturday that the 24-year-old has been withdrawn from the Asian Championships (BAC) in Ningbo, China, on April 9-14.

Currently ranked No. 17 in the Race to Paris standings, Tze Yong will not break into the top 16 as the Asian meet is the last event offering Olympic ranking points.

The one-year Olympic qualifying period started in May last year.

In a statement, BAM said Tze Yong was recovering well after spinal disc surgery but was still not ready to compete at the highest level.

"Our top priority is always the health and well-being of our players. Tze Yong's recovery and overall condition are paramount concerns for us," said BAM coaching director Rexy Mainaky. Rexy further explained that while Tze Yong has progressed to light workouts, he has not yet resumed high-intensity training, including jumping.

"We will closely monitor his progress and condition in the coming weeks. Tze Yong has a promising career ahead, and it's essential to focus on his complete recovery.

"Although his absence from the BAC will also rule him out of Paris, he is still young and will have opportunities to compete in future Olympics," added Rexy.

A disappointed Tze Yong, who has only played one full match this season, said: "I am disappointed, but I understand that my health and recovery come first.

"I am grateful for the support of the medical team and my coaches, and I am committed to focusing on my rehabilitation to return stronger.

"I look forward to getting back on court as soon as possible and contributing to the team in the future," said Tze Yong.

Since Tze Yong will not be making the trip, he will be dropped from the Road to Gold (RTG) programme.

With the Johor-born out of the Olympics race, world No. 10 Lee Zii Jia will be Malaysia's sole men's singles representative at the Paris Games in July.

According to Rexy, it remains to be seen if Tze Yong will play for Malaysia at the Thomas Cup in Chengdu.

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