Badminton Asia's training camp with an eye on 2020 Tokyo Olympics
It is another fours years to the next Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 but Badminton Asia has already embarked on a long journey to have players from lesser known badminton playing nations vie for Olympics berths in Tokyo.
Twelve players from Iran, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Syria and Kazakhstan - are currently undergoing a Badminton Asia's Asia Olympic Project (AOP) training camp in Damansara, Selangor in Malaysia.
The two week training camp, which began on November 27 will end on December 11, is conducted by three Malaysian coaches, all former internationals - namely Rashid Sidek, Wong Choong Han and Lee Wan Wah, a former top 5 world ranking men's doubles player.
Iran are represented by two players and one coach; Jordan by three players and a manager; Sri Lanka by four players; Syria by one player and Kazakhstan have two players.
According to Badminton Asia general manager Kenny Goh after the training camp some of the players will travel to Kathmandu to compete in the Nepal International Series to be held at the Dasharath National Stadium from Dec 13-17.
"The Asia Olympic Project is targeted to have players from these countries qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The overwhelming response to the training camp in Damansara speaks of the progress these countries have made in the sport. This is very encouraging as Badminton Asia have embarked to promote the shuttle sport in such countries," said Kenny.