KUALA LUMPUR: National women's singles head coach Tey Seu Bock has urged his trainees to step up and fight hard to earn their spots for the Uber Cup finals in Bangkok in May.
Today, the Malaysia women's team crashed out of the Badminton Asia Team Championship in Alor Star, but just a day earlier, two national shuttlers - M. Thinaah and Lee Ying Ying (both left out of the team event) - reached the women's singles final of the Iran International Challenge in Tehran.
Reigning national champion Thinaah claimed her first international senior title, when she upset the higher ranked Ying Ying 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9.
For Seu Bock, the players should “never feel safe” nor comfortable with their positions in the squad, as anything can happen anytime.
"Nobody is safe. I have eight women's singles players, so it's an open affair. They must buck up and prove that they deserve to be in the squad for the Uber Cup in Bangkok," said Seu Bock, following Malaysia's 3-0 defeat to South Korea in the quarter-finals of the Asian meet, which also serves as a qualifier for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals.
"I believe it's a great win for Thinaah. Ying Ying is a good player but she finds it difficult to play her game when faced with a teammate.
"Both our players reaching the final in Iran open things up for the women's singles department. With three more months to go, the players must prove themselves in all the tournaments they compete in.
"Most importantly, I will be looking at results, commitment and discipline."
Apart from Thinaah and Ying Ying, the other players in the women's singles department are national No 1 Soniia Cheah, former world junior champion Goh Jin Wei, Ho Yen Mei, S. Kisona, Lim Yin Fun and Lee Zii Yi.