Izzuddin-Sze Fei ready to prove their worth if selected for Thomas Cup – The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: Youngsters Nur Izzuddin Rumsani-Goh Sze Fei are ready to go the extra mile if they are selected as the third doubles pair for the Thomas Cup qualifiers.

The world No. 42 are not only out to gain experience from the bigger stage – they want to prove they can add depth to the squad.

The 20-year-old Izzuddin sees the qualifiers as a chance to prove a point.

“Sze Fei and I will strive to make a difference in the team if we’re selected. We don’t want to be mere passengers,” said Izzuddin.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will finalise the Thomas and Uber Cup squads during the coaching and training committee meeting on Jan 3 at Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM).

The Thomas Cup qualifiers will take place during the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Alor Setar, Kedah, from Feb 6-11. The Finals will be in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 20-27.

Only the top four nations in the qualifiers will gain automatic entries for the Finals.

Two other pairs assured of their places are Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi and Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong.

Yew Sin-Ee Yi will play first doubles for Malaysia based on their recent world ranking.

They have moved up one rung to 23rd while Rio Olympic Games silver medallists V Shem-Wee Kiong have dropped 11 spots to 29th.

Izzuddin, who made his international debut with Sze Fei at the 2016 Singapore International Series, wants to be a prominent figure in his second year in the national team.

“My first year in the national team with Sze Fei has been challenging. We experienced ups and downs but the journey has helped us to become better players,” said Izzuddin.

“Sze Fei and I are happy that our coaches (Cheah Soon Kit, Rosman Razak and Vountus Indra Mawan) continue to have faith in us. They’ve been pushing us hard in training. It’s time for us to step up,” he added.

Izzuddin-Sze Fei hogged the limelight when they reached the final of the Malaysian Masters in Sibu in January this year but their form dipped after that as they suffered early exits in almost every tournament this year.

They bounced back strongly just before the season ended by winning their first title at the Malaysian International Challenge in Pasir Gudang, Johor, last month.

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Vadhiya Natha

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