Malaysia’s badminton skills rival those of China, Indonesia, say federation officials

Shiv: According to Zhuo Shijie, vice president and secretary-general of the China World Badminton Federation, Malaysia’s badminton prowess is now on par with that of China and Indonesia, two other powerhouses in the sport.

“Malaysia has come a long way in international badminton.

“Hence, we believe that this championship, with participants from various countries, is a great initiative that will not only enhance sportsmanship during the competition but also strengthen ties between countries.”

He made the remarks at a press conference after officiating at the Sarawak Invitational Masters Badminton Championships 2024 organised by the World China Badminton Federation Sibu Badminton Club (WCBF Sibu) at the Catholic High School here on Friday (July 5).

Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia Raden Sigit Wichaksono agreed with Taku’s opinion and said about 40 badminton players from Indonesia were participating in the tournament.

“The presence of badminton legends such as Bobby Ertant Kurniawan will also attract players and spectators to the tournament,” he added.

He pointed out that Sibu town was an important venue due to the Sibu Municipal Council’s (SMC) close ties with Singkawang Municipality.

Group photo after the press conference (from left): Mr. Yuan, Mr. Huang, Ms. Ting, Mr. Luo, and Mr. Zhuo.

Meanwhile, WCBF Sibu chairman Tin Wei Ping said the 2024 Sarawak Invitation Masters Badminton Championships has six participants aged above 80 years and they are extremely grateful for their willingness to take part and travel all the way to Sibu.

When asked why all the players were so keen to take part in the tournament given their age, Tin said one of the reasons was the camaraderie between him, who is also a former Malaysian badminton player, and the participants.

“I have known most of them for about 10 to 15 years so when we invite them, they come and support us. This is one of the reasons why Sibu town is famous for its cheap and delicious food,” he added.

He also stressed that the nature of the sport, which allows all athletes to compete in their age group, creates a fair competition among athletes and improves their performance.

“Younger players will compete against players of their age and players in their 80s will compete against players of their same age. So it’s a fair competition where you can display your skills,” he added.

The tournament, which will run until July 7, has a total prize pool of RM90,000.

A total of 536 athletes from Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States will take part in the tournament, with 1,072 matches in 59 categories held over the three days.

Also in attendance were Yuan Minkang, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of the Badminton World Federation of China, and Huang Shuqing, Vice President and Deputy Secretary General of the Badminton World Federation of China.

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