GO FOR MORE WOMEN’S POWER

Frost says Malaysia lack depth to chal­lenge for Sudirman Cup

New Straits Times - - Sport - FABIAN PETER fabian.mark@nst.com.my

BA of Malaysia (BAM) tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Morten Frost be­lieves more depth is needed in the na­tional squad if they are to chal­lenge for team ti­tles.

Frost, when asked to com­ment on the team’s quar­ter-fi­nal exit in the Sudirman Cup last week in Aus­tralia, said more fo­cus should be given to the women’s depart­ment.

He said the shut­tlers, de­spite their im­prove­ment in re­cent years, are still far from pos­ing any threat to the world’s top play­ers.

The Dane added that this has led to the Malaysian team be­ing overly de­pen­dent on men’s dou­bles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong.

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games sil­ver medal­lists, who had to win their cru­cial match in the quar­ter-fi­nal against Ja­pan on Fri­day, lost to World No 5 Takeshi Ka­mura-Keigo Son­oda. Malaysia even­tu­ally lost the tie 3-1.

Ear­lier, Malaysia had gone down 3-2 to Ja­pan in the group stages, with V Shem-Wee Kiong los­ing as well.

“Even though our women are im­prov­ing, we are def­i­nitely still not there yet.

“We need to have more than just three pos­si­ble points in a tie.

“This year it was all down to our men’s dou­bles and we did not make it,” said Frost, who ap­plauded Ja­pan’s ef­forts in com­ing close to beat­ing China in Satur­day’s semi-fi­nals.

“Look how close Ja­pan got to China. Their mixed dou­bles did ex­tremely well in win­ning the cru­cial point for them. And to know that our pair (Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing) beat them.

“As our na­tional No 2, Kian Meng-Pei Jing had a very good out­ing. As for the rest, we just need to train harder and come back stronger.”

In yes­ter­day’s fi­nal, 10-time Sudirman Cup cham­pi­ons China were stunned 3-2 by South Korea. The Kore­ans, who last won the ti­tle in 2003, have now tri­umphed in the bi­en­nial world mixed team event four times (in­clud­ing 1991, 1993).

AFP PIC

South Korea head coach Kang Kyung Jin is thrown into the air fol­low­ing the team's vic­tory in the Sudirman Cup yes­ter­day.

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