Daren to leave BAM

Malaysian shuttler Liew Daren is set to end his 12-year spell with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) after the Malaysian Masters in Penang next week.

The 28-year-old, who joins Lee Chong Wei as the only Malaysian shuttler to win a men’s singles Superseries title, has been with BAM since he was a teenager. 

Daren explained that his decision to leave stemmed from the fact that he did not have a great season last year, winning just one title, the Polish Open in March, and hinted that he felt his place was threatened by up and coming junior shuttlers. 

“I felt that the time is right for me to go. My form has not been great of late and a lot of juniors have also stepped up,” Daren told The Star. “I consulted my coaches and they advised me to make my own decision.”

Daren revealed that the high point of his time with BAM was his victory at the French Open in 2012, while his biggest regret is that he failed to lead Malaysia to victory at the 2014 Thomas Cup in India when he lost to Japan’s Takuma Ueda in the deciding match of the final. 

“Having been part of BAM since I was 16, I’ve gone through a lot,” he said. “Winning the French Open was definitely the highlight of my career, while the lowest was losing in the Thomas Cup final two years ago.

“But I’m not done playing badminton yet. I’m still looking to continue playing as a professional … I’ll sort out my future soon.”