World Champs medalist Liew Daren could be included in Asian Games

Liew Daren says his injury took its toll on his body.
Nicolas Anil

Men’s singles shuttler Liew Daren, who made the country proud by making it to the just concluded World Championships semifinals, will most likely represent Malaysia at the upcoming Asian Games.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) wants to include the independent player to replace either Cheam June Wei or Soong Joo Vern, but first wants to ensure Daren is fit to compete at the multi-sport Games.

“We need to have a discussion with him (Daren) as he is carrying an injury. We will make a decision in the next two or three days,” BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria told Stadium Astro.

Daren, 31, had exceeded all expectations by making it to the last four after claiming big scalps along the way.

He started off the tournament by disposing Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, before he upset world number six K. Srikanth to make the quarterfinals.

In the last eight, Daren limped to victory over Japanese Kanta Tsuneyama after playing through an ankle injury he suffered in the second game.

That setback severely derailed his chances against Kento Momota, who beat him and went on to become the new world champion after dispatching Shi Yuqi.

But Daren, who collected a medal to become only the third Malaysian to do so, has said he will be proud to represent Malaysia at the Asian Games.

Malaysia are sending a young squad to the competition, in the absence of Datuk Lee Chong Wei who is undergoing rehabilitation for respiratory problems.

Lee Zii Jia, who impressed at the Thomas Cup, is fielded along with Leong Jun Hao in the men’s singles individual competition.

The mixed doubles are made up of Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai, while the men’s doubles consists of Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin.

Lee Meng Yean-Chow Mei Kuan will compete in the women’s doubles.