image source: thestar
Malaysia last won the Thomas Cup in 1992, it has been 22 years since Malaysia tasted glory in the most prestigious men’s team event in badminton. The last team who brought back the cup were legendary players like Foo Kok Keong, Cheah Soon Kit, Soo Beng Kiang and the Sidek brothers; Jalani, Razif, Rashid and Rahman Sidek.
Considered by many badminton fans as the golden boys of Malaysia badminton in that golden era. Now in their late 40′s and early 50′s, they are still famous celebrities in the local arena. Parents of younger generation still talk the tales of these legendary warriors of Malaysia.
The 1992 team, went to Jakarta, Indonesia to defend their title in 1994 but fell short in the finals battling with Indonesia. Malaysia team came close in winning it again in 1998(Hong Kong) and 2002 (Guangzhou) but fell short again to Indonesia in finals.
Image Source: malaysia sport
However in the 2014 edition, on paper Malaysia has the weakest team ever assembled in history of Malaysia badminton. Besides Lee Chong Wei who is the world number 1 and most stable player, the rest of the team are unstable mentally. We see the likes of other countries like Korea, Indonesia, China, Japan to be a major threat or perhaps India.
For instance the Koreans, they are strong mentally and have great depths in their men’s doubles even without their star player Lee Yong Dae. Malaysia’s Liew Darren who has been selected as team captain has been dropping in his form lately and injuries.
Meanwhile, the recent Malaysia Open Super Series 2014 Champion Lim Khim Wah and Goh V Shem are having problems to deal with lower rank pairs and still having problems with their serves.
Just on mental aspects, other countries like Indonesia, China, Korea, Japan are mentally stronger and tougher than players we have now. Malaysia’s second singles Chong Wei Feng always cracked under pressure and he can give away 10 points in row due to unforced errors.
Anyways, Malaysia has just started their 10 days centralized training camp behind closed doors headed by Rashid Sidek. Medias and the public are restricted to get in the training hall. Perhaps the team has something up their sleeves or we could expect the same results in the 2012 edition in Wuhan or even worse.
The strongest nations around the world will begin their battle from 18-25 May 2014 in New Delhi.