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Norza be­lieves Malaysia can beat Japan in Sudirman Cup group stage

New Straits Times - - Sport -

FABIAN PETER fabian.mark@nst.com.my

DATUK Seri Norza Zakaria is con­fi­dent that Malaysia can top Group 1C in the Sudirman Cup which gets un­der­way in Gold Coast, Aus­tralia next week. The BA of Malaysia (BAM) pres­i­dent be­lieves the match against Japan on Wed­nes­day will be the de­cid­ing tie to see who tops the group.

Ger­many are the other team in Group 1C. “Ex­pect a crack­ing match against Japan be­cause we both will be fight­ing hard to top the group. It is a 50-50 chance but I’m cer­tain we can come out tops.

“I have also told the play­ers to not take things lightly against Ger­many,” said Norza af­ter see­ing the team off at the Kuala Lumpur In­ter­na­tional Air­port 2 in Sepang.

The na­tional team led by World No 1 Lee Chong Wei left for Aus­tralia yes­ter­day, where they will pre­pare for the next five days be­fore open­ing their cam­paign against Ger­many on Tues­day.

Norza also added that he was happy to see the na­tional shut­tlers leave in high spirit, as it re­flects their readi­ness to com­pete.

“Pre­vi­ous is­sues have all been set­tled so it is now time for them to fo­cus on the task at hand.

“They are all in good con­di­tion and I see the strong team spirit as a key to get us far in this com­pe­ti­tion.”

Malaysia have yet to win the Sudirman Cup since its in­cep­tion in 1989. Their best re­sult was reach­ing the semi-fi­nals in Guangzhou, China in 2009.

PIC BY LUQ­MAN HAKIM ZUBIR

BAM pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria (sec­ond from right) sends off play­ers and of­fi­cials at KLIA2 yes­ter­day for the Sudirman Cup in Gold Coast in Aus­tralia.

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