Still a pull factor


PETALING JAYA: Independent doubles shuttlers Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin may be the only Malaysians left to keep the national flag flying high in the Denmark Open if all goes well.

World No. 14 Ee Yi-Yew Sin have yet to withdraw from the only European leg still left in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) calendar this year while all other Malaysians have pulled out from the tournament, scheduled in Odense, from Oct 13-18.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) have earlier entered all their players for the Open but with the cancellation of the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals in Aarhus from Oct 3-11 due to concerns over the Covid-19, the national body have also decided against sending their team for the Denmark Open as they have agreed that it was not viable to make the trip to Europe just for that one tournament.

The 27-year-old Ee Yi said they were still weighing their situation and would decide in the next couple of days.

“Yew Sin and I have not decided to withdraw yet. We’re discussing with our sponsors,” said Ee Yi.

Ee Yi said one of the main pulling factors was to seal their position in the World Tour Finals in December.

They are currently ranked fourth and are in a good position to qualify for the Finals. Only the top eight pairs get to compete but now, the world body have made a new ruling that players would have to compete in the Denmark Open to be eligible for the Finals.

“This has put us in a predicament. We are in a good position for the Finals and it’ll be great to compete in it. That means, we’ve to make our trip to Denmark,” said Ee Yi.

“We also miss all the action, and want to play badminton as soon as we can. It’ll be great to get some good competition in Odense.”

Having said that, Ee Yi admitted there were several other factors that were making it hard for them to make their Europe trip possible.

“Of course, the concerns over Covid-19 is there. The withdrawals of a few teams have indeed made us anxious too. We’re now thinking whether it is good to even take the risk,” said Ee Yi.

“Then, there is the 14-day quarantine that we’ll have to go through when we return home. It means that we will miss two weeks of training and that might affect our preparation for the two legs in Asia.

“We’ll meet up with our sponsors, as we depend on them for our funding. They need to know whether it’s worth their money to send us,” he added.

The two legs in Asia are slated from Nov 10-15 and Nov 17-22. The world body have yet to name the venue but Thailand have indicated that they were keen to host it.

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