Young shuttlers to spearhead medal hunt

 

By FRANCIS XAVIER

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Badminton Association (SBA) is not setting any high target for its shuttlers at the 19th Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Perak from September 14-23.

Team manager Steve Jay said the reason is that they will parade rather raw talents at the country’s biggest multi-sports event.

“We are not setting our target high because we know the competition is tough. Furthermore, this is a very young team and apart from Eizlan (Datu Mohd Shah Eizlan Sardik), all the other players are making their first appearance and will still be available for the next Sukma, so our main purpose is to expose them,” said Steve yesterday.

He added that they will be banking on Eizlan to help the team to bring home at least a bronze medal, predicting that the 20-year-old is expected to make the semi-finals in the boys’ singles.

“He is our most senior player in the team. With his experience gathered at the previous Sarawak Sukma in Kuching two years ago plus his winning performance at the recent State closed championship in Sandakan, we are hoping he can at least make it to the last four and deliver bronze in the singles as well as help the boys’ team for a third-place finish in the team event,” he added.

Eizlan is among the 16 players that will spearhead the State’s challenge at the biennial Games.

It will be the girls’ team that will get their challenge going when they will take on Penang in a Group A encounter in a tea m event on Sunday (September 9) at 9am, followed by a tie against Johor (6pm) on the same day.

The boys’ team that have been drawn in Group B will begin their team event campaign by taking on Terengganu at 2pm on the same day.

The following day, the boys will meet Penang at 9am while the girls will face Perak at 2pm before they (girls) conclude their group challenge taking on Kedah at 9am on Tuesday (September 6, 2018 11).

As for the boys, their final group match is against Federal Territory at 9am on Wednesday. For the record, the individual event will begin on September 15.

The team will leave for Perak today.

 
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New Sabah Times