Rexy Mainaky believes rising stars within the national setup will justify their selections for the upcoming Asia Team Championships (February 15-20) despite the possibility of facing higher ranked opponents.
The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) named a young side for the men’s and women’s team biennial affair taking place at the Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam.
The biggest absentees from the team list were World Championships bronze medalists Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi, who were excluded in favour of Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun.
Rexy, who started work as the national deputy coaching director in December, said Man-Tee were chosen due to their sterling performance that saw them win the Syed Modi International title last month.
“Man and Tee have been excellent of late. They did well to beat the Russian and Indian pair at the Syed Modi. They are still young, so playing at the Asia Team will be a good experience for them. As for Ong-Teo, this is not the end for them.
“Our selection is not about choosing our own players, rather giving the upcoming young ones a chance to prove their quality. If we are not daring to take our chances with the young players, they will never get a chance to showcase their potential,” Rexy said.
Man-Tee were one of the most improved pairs in the national setup, bagging three titles at the Spanish International as well as the Polish and Irish Open last year.
Those wins, coupled with the latest triumph in India, bumped them up to 45th in the world.
Rexy also saw a lot of potential in Teoh Mei Xing-Anna Cheong, who won the women’s doubles title at the Syed Modi tournament.
“Teoh and Anna have been consistent in tournaments, they have taken their opportunity well. We will continue to expose them to bigger events if they continue to do well,” he added.
Like Man-Tee, this young pair also excelled at the lower tier events last year by winning the Spanish International and Czech Open.
They are in the women’s team along with another rising pair in Valeree Siow-Low Yeen Yuan, but Pearly Tan-M.Thinaah would most likely play in the first women’s doubles match.
At the 2020 edition, the men’s team reached the final before they were upstaged 3-1 by Indonesia, while the women’s team also did well to reach the semi-finals.